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May 6, 2020 5:51 PM CST
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
Hi folks.
My parents, God rest their ancient souls, used to put little hats on vulnerable
seedlings when a warning of colder weather came around. This was at least
60 years ago, but biology hasn't changed that much. The weather lady on our
local station has been telling us that we are going to have 37 degree weather
this weekend. I just put a bunch of little things in the ground (Choleus, etc.) .
I'm not overly worried about these little things turning brown and going south,
but I'm not that experienced and I do have the ghosts of my parents' cautious
approach in my brain.

My question is two-fold:
Do I need to worry about really cold temps for one or two nights? and
Does anyone have ideas for home-made little hats to put over tiny, vulnerable
heads? We're talking about coleus (which the nursery sent very early!) and
lemon balm plants which have been maturing in my Manhattan apartment for
weeks and weeks.
Thoughts? David Tillyer
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May 6, 2020 6:23 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
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No worries at 37 for a night or two.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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May 6, 2020 7:10 PM CST
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Hi David.
I cut the bottoms off empty 2 L soda bottles and use those as temporary mini greenhouses for anything really tender, especially if they just went out. I happen to have them laying around, I use them for a lot of things. Keeping humidity up for germination and cuttings, keeping squirrels and chipmunks from tearing up new seedlings, and they make spreading mulch around seedlings without crushing anything or avoiding crown rot a snap.

I don't have anything really tender out yet.. everything outside (bachelor buttons, snap dragons, lupine, larkspur and herbs) are pretty cold tolerant and have already been hardened outside for 2-3 weeks. If you have clear plastic soda or milk jugs in your recycle bin, great, use em, they're handy. I wouldn't worry about coleus. What else is out?
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May 6, 2020 7:11 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
It depends upon how low for how long but I would cover the coleus. Use a bucket or box - take the covers off during the day.
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May 7, 2020 9:25 AM CST
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
BigBill, I respect the instincts of a Michigander on questions like this.

I think, since the coleus are in containers, I'm going to line them up
under a couple of leafed-out rose bushes and next to a concrete wall.
That will probably keep any wind off them and will probably raise the
temp a couple of degrees. And, yes, Daisy, I'll put them out in the sun
during the day.
Wish me luck.
David
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May 7, 2020 10:03 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
First and foremost, thanks! But I spent the first 58 years of my life on Long Island. When I see a fellow New Yorker with a question, hey, I need to help if I can.
Good luck David! All the best man. Thumbs up
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill May 7, 2020 10:03 AM Icon for preview
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