Gardening Tips: February Freeze

Editor’s Note: My day perennials have poked their heads up already, so I reached out to the Spectator’s gardener to ask how to deal with this situation.


What to do this week

The flowers are understandably confused this year. They are going to be in for a shock later this week, according to the weather report, with the February deep freeze coming and nothing to protect them. You can help them if you have the means by covering them with a mulch of old leaves, straw or spruce boughs. Even some cardboard layers will help, as long as you remember to take it off when spring really does arrive. It is more than a little worrying in the garden and orchard this year. Even if things survive these wild swings in weather, the possibility of drought this coming summer without proper snow melt is serious. Everyone will have to be extra diligent with mulch and water if the weather turns hot and dry come May. Be warned and be prepared!

Photo of early tiger lilies.

Tiger lilies? In January?

And if I may add one more tip, do NOT prune your trees and shrubs yet, no matter the temptation these fine days. The subsequent freezing days can damage the trees through the open wounds.




Market gardener, farmer, workshop leader, seed-saver, political candidate and mother, Michelle Smith has spent over 30 years coping with the challenges of our bioregion and in the process has built a store of practical and technical knowledge. The Inverness resident has served on the board of Seeds of Diversity Canada and represented Alternative Producers with the Federation of Agriculture but can do nothing about her hair. She is pictured with a head of Club Wheat, a seed that shares her approach to hairdressing.