Frost advisory covers north Georgia
by Matt Shinall
Oct 21, 2011 | 1053 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Records were nearly broken early in the week with temperatures in the mid-80s, but cooler weather has followed without delay as a cold front ushered in fall's first frost advisory Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued the advisory early Thursday morning for 36 metro-Atlanta and northwest Georgia counties, including Bartow.

"A frost advisory means that frost is possible. Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered," the NWS alert stated. "Prematurely budding plants, shrubs and trees will be susceptible to these cold temperatures and may suffer frost damage."

With colder weather moving in, President of the Bartow County Master Gardeners Kate Posey completed the annual migration of her plants on Wednesday.

"Get your plants inside so you don't lose them; I just did mine [Wednesday]. I created a place inside where it's going to get sufficient light," Posey said. "But I was very fearful, I didn't want to lose anything for sure. I even have a Christmas Cactus, they were outside for the summer and they have buds on them for flowers. I didn't want to lose those, so everything is safely inside."

Posey suggests moving plants inside if they are budding, tropical or of significant sentimental value. Before bringing plants indoors, wash them to rid them of bugs and take precautions to protect floors against water damage or stains.

Along with the Christmas Cactus, Posey brought orchids and other plants inside, but larger, immobile tropical plants such as her Philippine Lily will get a different treatment.

"If people know that their plants are tropical or exotic, then they need to look at how they go through the winter here. ... You just have to be careful with things like that, they're not used to our climate," Posey said. "If you have plants you are concerned about for the winter and are too big to bring in, you could always wrap the pot with a reflective shield kind of thing, or a heavy blanket, or up north they use burlap and twine to wrap the bases so the roots don't freeze. And if you get them in a corner of your garden by a retaining wall or something and mound them over with mulch, leaves, pine bark, that sort of thing -- that will protect the roots a little bit, too."

Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid-60s this weekend with forecasts calling for warmer weather next week with highs in the mid-70s.

For more information on plant care, call County Coordinator Paul Pugliese with the Bartow County Extension Office at 770-387-5142.