HOUSTON (CW39) – There is the Country Egypt, you know the one with the pyramids, not to be confused with the ones at Moody Gardens. Then there’s Egypt, TX in Wharton County… not to be confused with the unincorporated community of Egypt, TX in Montgomery County.
If you tuned in yesterday, you know that things got a little mixed up on my commute. I made the full 2-hour loop throughout all of the Egypts of Texas. Eventually, I made it out to Addy’s Flower Farm to get some answers about how to care for your garden after those freezing temperatures.
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Q&A session with Yvette Stark:
What kind of damage did you receive from the freezing temperatures to your flowers?
Yvette: We had some frost damage, as you can tell. These are Adalias they are the highest dollar flower and the least cold tolerant. For them, we have to pull out all the stops, we’ve got this high tunnel, we had a frost cloth covering them, and we had three propane tanks and the fans to blow the heat. Unfortunately, we lost electricity on the two coldest nights. We did lose about twenty percent in here, but they are growing back.”
Whenever you start to see the leaves turn brown, at what point do you start cutting them back? Because these are not dead.
Yvette: “We have already cut these pack, they were about 2-3 feet tall. The top part was mush. We keep these full bottom leaves on because in order to get some kind of energy/ food, photosynthesis needs to occur. So, we keep these leaves on until new ones grow back.”
So, the new ones will eventually just take over and the old leaves will naturally fall off to give way to the new plant?
Yvette: Yes, that is correct! In fact, Mother’s Day is when this will be full of beautiful blooms.
Some of the supplies that you use to protect these flowers are kind of hard to come by especially when everyone is out in the stores trying to protect their plants at the same time. What are you doing for the city of Houston and surrounding areas that will really help folks out with this problem?
Yvette: We are going to be selling winterizing kits. Which is basically going to be the hoops, with frost cloth. Frost cloth is what will protect your plants. A lot of people will put blankets out, or plastic, but it’s the frost cloth that will help the most. We will be selling those kits for the next cold season.
Any other tips for this upcoming spring season for amateur gardeners, or for people who are trying to test their green thumb?
Yvette: We actually have our summer seedlings out. They are in the green house over there. I would not put them out until after the last frost date. For this area (8B) it is March 15th. You can go ahead and start them now, but if we do get that cold night bring them inside.
I see you have cabbage growing out here, they look beautiful! Were these impacted by the cold?
Yvette: These were a little affected, we had a little bit of frost cloth over it, but in reality I think that without it they might have done just fine.
Do fruit and vegetables bare the cold better than your florals?
Yvette: It depends on the vegetable or the flower that you are talking about. Vegetables are just like flowers. You have you less cold hearty vs. your cold hearty flowers and vegetables.
What plants do people have to look forward to growing this spring?
Yvette: You can plant tomatoes now! During the summer I know for a fact you can grow eggplant and okra because it loves that heat. I know this because I use those in my arrangements. I use little bitty baby eggplants and okra! Red okra… or purple okra!
You can find Addy and her arrangements at addysflowerfarm.com or at Urban Harvest, once she has full fields of flowers which will be about the end of April. She also has her U-Pick out in Egypt, TX you can sign up at the end of April and pick your own bucket of flowers!