Prevent plant damage as cold temps return

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- As we all know by now, Colorado weather can change in an instant.

These warm temperatures have been nice, but won’t last. Later this week temperatures will dip back into the 40s. It’s caused farmers and gardeners to have some trust issues when it comes to planting new items.

"I have seen it freeze pretty stiffly here in May and Mother's Day, I’ve seen snow, and so we just don't know for sure,” said Dennis Hill, owner of Bookcliff Gardens.

As the saying goes, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.

Tuesday will bring near 80-degree temps, but come Wednesday we will see a high of 47.

"A lot of folks are planting now, they are just going for it, they can't restrain themselves anymore, and that's okay, but you're just going to have to be able to protect them and cover them if it does freeze,” said Hill.

To help preserve those perennials, try some proven hacks. Bookcliff Gardens recommend planting lettuce, kale, or herbs this time of year. We are actually two weeks late for those. They prefer the cooler spring compared to the heat of summer.

"There are commercial things like hot caps, kind of like wax paper cones, that you can put over there… walls of water are another product…a lot of folks they just get a cardboard box and put it on or an empty pot and put it on upside down,” said Hill.

However, for those bigger gardens like wineries and peach farms, if the plants perish, that’s bad for business. Luckily experts at Grande River Vineyards are pro planters. In fact, their vines are some of the oldest in the valley, as some were planted back in 1988.

To help their grapes grow, they take it slow.

"We don't irrigate until the grapes have green growth on them, we try to slow them down and make sure that we are past the freezes,” said Prescott Bell, Vineyard & Winery Operating Manager, Grande River Vineyards.

They say spring is a very busy time. Full of pruning and plucking to ensure every bud has a fighting chance.

"Until we hit bud break we just wait at this stage and once we get growth we will start irrigating,” said Bell.

They say their wine grapes will start to bloom any day now. They’re hopeful for a great season due to all the moisture we’ve had compared to last year’s drought.

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