PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Long, Cold Winter Leading To Gardening Woes

Icicles hang from a camellia shrub in Charleston, South Carolina after a rare ice storm blanked the normally warm historic city on January 29, 2014. (Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

Icicles hang from a camellia shrub in Charleston, South Carolina after a rare ice storm blanked the normally warm historic city on January 29, 2014. (Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

This winter’s cold temperatures, heavy snowfalls and driving winds may end up being the gift that keeps on giving, as gardeners around the country start to take stock of their plants.

For the most part, it’s not pretty.

From winter-burned evergreens in the Northeast to creeping fig plants in South Carolina, the winter has taken its toll.

So what should gardeners look for? And what should gardners be doing to save their plants?

For help, Here & Now’s Robin Young — a plant enthusiast in her own right — turns to gardening guru Mike McGrath, host of WHYY’s nationally syndicated “You Bet Your Garden.” McGrath reassured Robin that this winter was not a death sentence for gardens, and that the plants will bloom again.

“The worst thing that can happen to a garden is a freezing cold winter without snow cover,” he said. “We’ve always told people, if it starts snowing in November and you can always see white on the ground until April, you are going to have one of your best gardens and landscapes ever, because the snow is a perfect insulator.”

Furthermore, he said that when the warm weather returns, the plants will know what to do.

“Plants have this wonderful flexibility,” he said. “Once they’re warm again, once the sap is flowing, what is now kind of a steel rail is going to turn into more like a rubber band. And when that happens, when that sap starts flowing, then the tree, the shrub, can do what comes naturally, which is to reach toward the sun. If we try to change their angle when the sap is frozen solid inside — you know, it’s like breaking an ice pop in half.”

Guest


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 26 5 Comments

As Lethal Heroin Overdose Numbers Rise, Families Find Solace In Organ Donation

Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs from donors who have died of overdoses.

May 26 3 Comments

NEADS Assistance Dog Bailey Graduates From Service Dog Training

NEADS provides dogs like Bailey, a yellow Labrador, for deaf and disabled Americans.

May 25 Comment

Celebrating The Class Of 2016: Peace Odiase

Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.

May 25 8 Comments

NEADS Service Dog Meets His Match

Here & Now has been tracking service dog Bailey, who recently met his new owner, since last year.