Freeze Frustrates Gardeners

1 decade 7 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, April 19 2007 Apr 19, 2007 Thursday, April 19, 2007 9:29:37 PM CDT April 19, 2007 in News

A Columbia nursery and area homeowners are feeling the pinch from the record low tempratures earlier this month. Looking around the Superior Nursery greenhouse you wouldn't think that there was a nasty cold snap two weeks ago- until you take a quick cart trip to the back of the nursery.

"80% of the material we had here was definitely damaged," said Liz Graznak, Superior Nursery.

The brown leaves easily show the damage.

"It was very, very hard on us," said Graznak.

Susie Keepper calls herself a 'little gardener.' She watched her plants struggle through the recent wintry nights.

"They just wilted and died on me," said Keepper.

Now, she's shopping to replenish.

"I really like just looking around and thinking of what I can plant," she said.

Even though some plants shriveled in the cold, others are just starting to show signs of distress.

"We needed the warm weather to see what was going to happen," said Graznak.

 "Sometimes the damage doesn't manifest itself for months," said Chris Starbuck, state extension specialist.

Starbuck teaches master gardening at MU. He says gardeners should stay patient, since plants that look dead now may sprout new leaves later this summer.

"So I would wait, before you make your pruning decisions," Starbuck said.

Keepper says her plants don't have a chance.

"Most of the damage is already done," said Keepper.

But as she packs the new ones up and heads for home, she says she will be prepared for the next wintry weekend we get.

"I'll be covering them up...Yes, I will," said Keepper.

Experts say not to over-fertilize plants right now because they're in delicate condition. Water and proper mulch are the best things gardeners can do for their greenery right now.

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