Gardening Q&A

Q. The freezing temperatures defoliated our two lime trees even though we covered them with both a layer of fabric and a layer of plastic. We did not have time to find a heat source. The trees dropped all their leaves. Are the trees going to die?

A. I am thinking it is likely that the trees will be killed especially if they are on a grafted root system, but it is best if you are patient for at least six weeks to see how the damage evolves. It depends on how well the trees were covered and if they were sheltered from the weather at all.

Q. The freezes killed the tops of our larkspurs and blue curl. Will any of them come back from the roots or seed that is still in the ground? How about the sweet peas?

A. Yes, it is likely that some of each of the plants will grow from the surviving root systems and or the remaining seed. It is less likely that sweet peas will resprout and it is late in the season to plant more sweet pea seed.

Q. The cold weather froze our lawn grass. It went from being attractive green to brown. Is it permanently killed, or will it recover? It is St. Augustine grass.

A. The green plants that froze in February could have been St. Augustine grass, but I think it was more likely one of the winter weed grasses such as rescue grass or annual blue grass. If it was one of the weed grasses it will probably resprout in a few weeks and then when the temps warm in April it will be replaced by your regular lawn.

Q. Our cool weather annuals were killed by the cold weather. Is it worthwhile to replant petunias, stocks and snapdragons? When can we plant zinnias?

A The supply of cool weather annual transplants may be depleted, but If you can find cool weather annuals at the nursery they will bloom until about May 1. The Zinnias can be planted by seed or transplants in mid-April.

Q When can we plant tomatoes for the spring? What are the recommended selections?

A. The Rodeo tomato for 2021 is “Ruby Crush.” It is a determinate grape tomato that is very productive and sweet tasting. Other recommended selections are Celebrity, Valley Cat, Tycoon, Red Deuce HM1823, HM8849, BHN 968 and Red Snapper.

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