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Plants Handling Weather Roller Coaster So Far

With another week of weather temperatures ranging from the 20’s to the 50’s, plants are holding on strong in the Ozarks. KOLR10’s Brett Martin found out how the weather may be a hassle for us but for native plants, it is simply another year.
Think about stuff up north, Montana and Michigan, they have plenty of plants that make it through and its pretty cold.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With another week of weather temperatures ranging from the 20’s to the 50’s, plants are holding on strong in the Ozarks. KOLR10’s Brett Martin found out how the weather may be a hassle for us but for native plants, it is simply another year.

Janet Smith and her husband grow anything under the sun.

"We grow tomatoes and squash and potatoes, cucumbers, just the normal gardening things," says Smith.

She does not dare brave the risk of losing those plants when it comes to Ozark winters.

"We had trouble last summer because it was so cool that our tomatoes really didn't take off."

For the second straight week, temperatures are going up and down overnight and although it may be tough for us to get used to it, Mike Schaffitzel says to plants its just another year.

"The trees and the shrubs that are set up for zone 6 will be fine and the fact that it hadn't warmed up enough for any sap running, the plants are dormant so we are in good shape."

Mike owns Schaffitzel’s Greenhouses and says Zone 6 means plants can handle anywhere between 10-20 degrees below zero.

"We are truly a zone 6 and we've planted a lot of zone 7's and zone 8's and its worked for years and this year it may be cold enough that those may die," says Mike.

He says gardeners like himself don't worry about the cold as long as there is snow to go with it. 

"This winter has been terrible on the plants cause we've had the moisture. When its cold and dry, that's when there is more damage."

Mike says the extreme cold does make it tough to forecast the spring but he is hopeful for another good year.

"When spring comes, we'll have a few surprises I'm sure."

"Think about stuff up north, Montana and Michigan, they have plenty of plants that make it through and its pretty cold."

As for Janet, her and her husband are keeping an eye out this year.

He does watch that, in fact, we bought our almanac yesterday and he's reading it right now probably as we are speaking."

Mike says plants that were left in the ground and are not native to our area may be lost now. He says as long as we do not have long periods of warm weather, trees and shrubs should come back like normal.

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