Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hurry up and wait

pond with geese
Loma's pond with geese patiently waiting for spring
By now most of us are more than ready for winter to be over and done with. The groundhog not withstanding, spring is just around the corner.

As it warms up over the next few weeks, and the night time temperatures get close to or above freezing, plants in our overwintering structures are going to begin to wake up. Tempting as it is to keep the doors closed and make use of the warmth, that may not be the wisest course.

Our aim at the nursery, is to bring things along slowly. Any soft new growth is primed to be frozen. Whenever possible, the doors will be opened during the day and left open if night time lows aren't expected to be more than three or four degrees below freezing.

Undoubtedly, there are going to be some winter losses, probably more from frozen roots than shoots. Affected shoots are a lesser issue, since most material will be pruned and the damaged shoots removed. The roots are of greater concern as problems may not show up until plants have fully leafed out.

But, it's the challenges that make this game interesting. And remember that patience is a virtue.

Jonathan McCombie, Grower, Loma Vista Nursery

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