Protecting plants from an April freeze

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - For many, all the hard work in the yard over a nice warm weekend will go to waste after another night of freezing temperatures.

"Some of them would take a hit because some of them are more tender than others. That's the problem with plants. They are just like people. We are not all created the same," says Micahel Benken, owner of H.J. Benken Floral Home and Garden.

If they are not covered by a frost blanket, Benkin's flowers are spending the night in a warm greenhouse which is the only way to protect them from a spring freeze. Even though the past weekend showed every sign of spring, Benkin says he never lets the sunny days fool him.

"What happened this warm weekend is a lot of people who went to the Home Depots, the box stores, they saw plants out. They saw merigolds. They saw tomato plants and because they saw them out, they think they can go plant them. But that stuff is all going to be toast. It's all going to be frozen," says Benkin.

That's because Benkin says many of those plants haven't had a chance to acclimate to the climate and the first cold snap could leave them lifeless by the end of the week.

"I'm sure there are plenty of those stores around that got shipments in from other growers. They came out of nice warm greenhouses. They were sitting on their shelves, took them home, planted them and odds are those will be the ones to take a hit," says Benkin.

He says the only chance most fruit trees in bloom have tonight is a frost cloth and a warm light bulb to keep them from freezing.

"If it is in a bud stage, it has a very good chance to survive. If it's in full bloom, it's got a very little chance of survival," says Benkin.

It is just another example he says of eager spring lovers jumping ahead of the game.

"Mother Nature is pretty good about taking care of her own. It's when we want to go ahead and move the schedules forward is when you are asking for trouble," says Benkin.

There is some good news. Those plants that have been in your yard for years and years, Benken says they will probably make it through just fine.

If you want to be sure if your plants or flowers will make it, click here.

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