According to Accuweather.com, “more than 150 million people will face some type of impacts from the storm east of the Mississippi River, but the Northeast, which received accumulating snow on Wednesday on the heels of record-challenging warmth on Monday, is likely to take the brunt of the impacts as the storm rapidly strengthens into a bomb cyclone along the Eastern Seaboard.” The storm is named Quinlan.
It’s that “record-challenging warmth” before the storm that concerns us most. Warm weather induces new growth on winter-dormant plants. When followed the freezing temperatures, the new growth – leaves, flowers and all – are damaged or destroyed. Not only that, but previously dormant plants lose some of their winter hardiness, so Quinlan can be particularly devastating.
I’ve been receiving calls from gardeners, particularly in the south where warm weather persists today but where below-freezing temps are forecast for the weekend. From citrus trees, blueberry bushes to annuals and azaleas, they wonder how to treat them.
Here are my suggestions.