Bulbs in the snow

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 12 Mar 2006 17:15:36 PST
Susan Hayek wrote,**And in north Northern coastal CA, snow level is at 500 
feet. We got
>so much hail it looked like snow covering the ground.
>Not a happy event for my bulbs or my more temperate shrubs.

I'm up around 1600 feet in northern Oregon, and there's plenty of snow on 
the ground right now. It's clearing, too, which means a cold night. That 
happened 2 nights ago, and in the morning some of the bulbs in my frames 
looked rather puny, with darkened foliage and drooping stems, but by midday 
today they had all perked up. A few weeks ago we had temperatures in the 
teens with a ferocious east wind, during which I put microfoam blankets 
over the bulbs and preserved them all, as far as I've noticed. I don't put 
on the blankets (a tedious process with more than a thousand square feet of 
frame area) unless I think the temperature is going to drop below 25 F. So 
far the worst damage I've noticed is loss of buds on the early-flowering 
magnolias, but time will tell which marginal shrubs have been damaged or 
killed. Last weekend, at the NARGS Winter Study Weekend in Victoria, a 
certain speaker known for "zone denial" was going on about how well various 
woody plants had survived the recent freeze, and someone sitting near me 
commented that he had no right to say that so soon after the freeze. Quite 
right! It takes a while to see the real results of low temperature in 
winter. I am not counting my hebes until I see them next July.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA
Sunset Zone 4, USDA zone unfathomable since on the map I'm on the border 
between Z8 and Z1!

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