SFA gardens checking over plants after last week’s freeze

SFA gardens checking over plants after last week’s freeze
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 11:42 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:55 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - SFA Gardens prepared for the arctic cold front that came through the area throughout the holiday.

Dr. David Creech Director of SFA Gardens says a gardener’s work is never finished, and this reigns true during this arctic cold front throughout the holiday weekend.

Creech says the gardens moved all plants inside of their greenhouses and put frost fabric on the plants that stayed outside. He says the wind blew some of the frost fabric off of the plants.

“When that front blew through, it took us to nine degrees. We basically had covered everything, and we didn’t secure it enough and it blew away,” Creech said.

Creech says some plants sustained damage, but overall it was minimal. He says leading up to the freeze, the months before had been warm.

“we’ve been warm in November, we’ve been warm in December, actually some spots in the garden I don’t think we’ve even had a frost, so we had quite a bit of foliage. Plants are just like humans they don’t like a shock on the system,” Creech said.

Creech says they are currently checking if certain plants are dead or alive by cutting the stem.

“When you cut into a plant two or three days after things have thawed out you should be able to see if you have damage, flecks of brown in the cambium which is that green layer right beneath the bark and if that’s brown it’s not good,” Creech said.

Creech says some plants can just be wounded and brown flecks can be seen throughout the plant.

“it’s basically just been stomped on; a lot of times plants will respond to that by sending a bunch of shoots up from the ground,” Creech said.

Creech says most people want to go clean up their plants right away after a freeze, he says its best to wait, because some plants fold in to protect itself from the next freeze.

“The best thing to do after a hard freeze is to look at it and wait to see what goes on. If you’re a curious horticulturist you are usually out there with a knife to see what lived and what didn’t,” Creech said.

Dr. Creech says they will know more about how many plants they lost in the coming weeks and some even months.