Morton Arboretum tips: Protect your plants, flowers from frost - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Morton Arboretum tips: Protect your plants, flowers from fickle spring weather

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

You may have experienced a shock Monday morning when you went outside to look at the plants in your yard. Overnight frost might be taking its toll on your garden. But don't panic yet!

The experts from Lisle's Morton Arboretum shared some advice with FOX 32 News about what Chicago area residents can do about the fickle spring weather.

The unwritten rule among the seasoned veterans in Chicago is not to plant before Memorial Day. But many people don't always follow that advice.

Long lines curled around garden centers at local hardware stores, since the nice weather has been playing hide and seek with area residents this May. But with Sunday night's cold snap, they woke up to frost on their seedlings instead of dew Monday morning.

The arboretum experts said covering plants and flowers with frost cloth or sheet overnight would help. But remove the material first thing in the morning, otherwise the sun's heat will be trapped underneath and cause more damage.

Experts also say to water plants and flowers before a hard freeze, and then again afterward. Added moisture will allow the plants to tolerate the cold and then bounce back to life. They are pretty resilient little buggers. Don't worry if your plants are droopy.

The last tip experts shared: Add a layer of mulch to gardens helps regulate the temperature and keep the plants moist. Cover them with a one-to two inch layer of mulch to make sure your hard work planting won't go to waste.

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