Southeast Gardening forum: Time for an early start?

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Name: Will Currie
Hoke co NC (Zone 8a)
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UncleWill
Feb 24, 2018 5:17 AM CST
Unusually warm temps have me eager to begin spring planting. Long range forecasts don't predict frost for my area of SE NC ( on the cusp of zones 7 and 8) but they do dip a bit close! My quandary is do should I plant now to give my young plants a jump on our brutal heat and humidity or wait until after our traditional last frost date of April first?
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Feb 24, 2018 6:58 AM CST
Hi & welcome! Wrestling with the same question here. It's very hard to remember it's February with this weather.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Feb 24, 2018 9:39 AM CST
I think it was 2013 that there was a frost in the first week of April? IDK if it hit your area, but it did here (AL near FL border.)
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Currie
Hoke co NC (Zone 8a)
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UncleWill
Feb 24, 2018 11:21 AM CST
Would mulch be sufficient to protect new plantings that haven't sprouted if the frost event only lasts 1 or 2 nights? Can near freezing temps do serious harm or will they be ok as long as we stay above 32•?
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Feb 24, 2018 11:29 AM CST
That would depend on the particular plants & exact circumstances. Generally, to protect tender foliage, I would use a sheet cover overnight if it's supposed to get below about 37. Upside-down buckets also work well for individual plants, or an old cooler. Remove in the morning when it's starting to warm up.

If there is nothing going on above-ground yet, I would not worry about a light freeze @ night if it's much warmer during the days. Laying dark rocks or bricks, dark colored jugs of water around new plants can help warm the ground when the sun hits them during the day, and help retain some heat after the sun sets.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
south-central alabama (Zone 8a)
olhippie
Feb 27, 2018 9:25 PM CST
It sure is tempting to plant something, but I'm going to wait. Field corn is always first seed in the ground for me, and that's the middle to end of March.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
Canning and food preservation Butterflies Composter Bromeliad Bookworm Greenhouse
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pod
Feb 28, 2018 7:23 AM CST
@UncleWill ~ not sure what you normally would plant. The soil temperatures are still too cool for some seed germination. Probably still too cool for plants to grow well.

I am in zone 8a and suffer that same urge. If you are talking vegetables, there are cooler weather crops you can grow overwinter or early spring. Onions, greens, lettuce are a few. In this area, planting potatoes by Valentines day (mine just broke through the soil this weekend).

You could also start seedlings, even without a greenhouse. I use the wintersowing method of seeding and have tomatoes growing. They will be ready to plant in ground when time is right.

There are lots of ways to fight down that urge to plant things while the temps are moderate and the sun is shining. Whistling
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Feb 28, 2018 8:42 AM CST
Admit, I've lost almost all control this past weekend & I'm going to be "sheeting" if frost comes. According to the 10-day for here, the lowest predicted is 40.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Mar 10, 2018 6:52 AM CST
Well... I did put all of my potted plants back into greenhouse & hoping the magic of a couple sheets over some grounded plants thwarted Jack's efforts to ruin them. Had 2 mornings of frost & Mon., Tues., Wed. nights look like frost too. Hope that's the end of it!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Mar 10, 2018 8:11 AM CST
We had a heavy frost and it did some damage to a nice little Confederate Rose and some Spider lilies. I made no efforts to protect anything from the frost and so far that is all the damage I have seen from it. It might have damaged some Hippeastrums (Amaryllis still to me) but it will be a few days before I can tell.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Mar 10, 2018 9:08 AM CST
Was it yesterday morning, Larry? I saw more frost driving to work Friday than Thur., for whatever that's worth. It didn't seem "hard" here but I didn't go outside either morning until 7:30. All of the plants you mentioned should handle it just fine, start over again if they need to.

I just realized I forgot 2 hanging pots, succulents. We will also see what the cost of this mistake is after some time has passed.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Mar 10, 2018 12:14 PM CST
Yes, it was Friday morning and down in the low part of my yard. The frost covered that area pretty heavy, and it stays in the shade because of all the tall trees till mid morning at this time of year.
Name: Will Currie
Hoke co NC (Zone 8a)
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UncleWill
Mar 12, 2018 9:36 PM CST
Just an update. The long range forecasts were wrong! Thumbs down
Temps have been skirting the freezing point more than expected and today there's even been snow mixed with heavy rain. Just goes to show long range forecasts are just best guesses and we should rely more on real experience.
My concern now is that while I was able to show some self restraint and not plant too early many of my plants have broken dormancy early. I'm really hoping this cold snap doesn't do to much harm but all I can do is cover what I can then wait and see.
Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!
south-central alabama (Zone 8a)
olhippie
Mar 13, 2018 6:20 AM CST
Frost here this morning, and forecast is around 32F next couple mornings.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Mar 13, 2018 8:56 AM CST
Yep, frost here too, just a few miles N of FL border. Fingers & toes crossed! Eyes too?!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Mar 13, 2018 10:49 AM CST
Oh Geez, we had a heavy frost this morning Blinking and tonight is supposed to be even colder. Yikes. Sighing! I was out of town for the weekend and left some houseplants outside on the patio. Yesterday, Monday (yesterday) it rained all day and was supposed to continue most of the night. I almost left those plants out, thinking that they'd be safe, but at the last minute I brought them into the garage. Whew, I'm glad that I did. Rolling my eyes. Sighing!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Mar 13, 2018 11:25 AM CST
I snapped a few photos this morning , hope the freezing predicted for tomorrow tonight does only minor damage. I really don't have many small seedlings now except for daylilies and they seem to take the mild freezes in stride. Only supposed to get down to 31 F here, so I am hoping all the Azaleas that are trying to bloom will not be hurt.
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[Last edited by Seedfork - Mar 13, 2018 11:26 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1658889 (17)
Name: Will Currie
Hoke co NC (Zone 8a)
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UncleWill
Mar 13, 2018 6:07 PM CST
31 tonight with a low of 27 tomorrow, after this I'm supposedly in the clear. Crossing Fingers!
Only things looking burnt so far are the amaryllis and cannas. Hopefully the am's have enough juice left in their bulbs to bounce back. Not worried about the canna, I could lose half of them and still have too many (if too many flowers were a real thing) lol.

Beautiful azaleas Larry.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Mar 14, 2018 7:35 AM CST
Beautiful, Larry!

Once we hit Friday, is it over? I think so, but am going to hold-off on anything beyond moving potted plants around until we get a forecast through the first week of April. I've been "burned" by April frost before.

The only thing I'd done before it got cold again that I've really worried about is to put a few Coleus cuttings in a windowbox on the side of my greenhouse. It's on the sheltered side and I've turned on the heat inside the GH the past few nights, and covered the box with a sheet. So far, so good, Coleus show damage within hours.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Region: United States of America Bookworm Echinacea Seed Starter Region: Alabama
Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Tropicals
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Kabby
Mar 15, 2018 7:57 PM CST
It was 29 here this morning, next Thurs and Fri, it should get down to 39 and 36. My main worries are my hostas and lilies, they have already put out a lot of foliage. I covered the hostas with leaves, the others are under the house. The cold last night toppled a canna and burnt the foliage some on my elephant ears but all in all it wasn't bad.
Here's a few photos from the last 2 weeks.
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Thumb of 2018-03-16/Kabby/cd1110

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Thumb of 2018-03-16/Kabby/f06673

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