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Montana plant nurseries brace for colder temperatures

Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 12:58:42-04

GREAT FALLS — Temperatures are projected to drop into the low 30s this week which means outdoor plants might be harmed by cold conditions.

Tilleraas Landscape & Nursery owner Steve Tilleraas in Great Falls said covering your crops is a sure way to prevent any damage during the temperature drop.

“[If] it gets down to freezing or below freezing, you’re gonna wanna protect them, and I always think that you should put a blanket over them while it’s still warm out during the day so it kind of traps the heat in around the plants,” Tilleraas said.

He also wants to assure growers that their plants are likely to survive the temperature change just fine but advises taking precautions just to be safe.

“For the most part, our plants are gonna handle anything down to about thirty degrees or so. However, if you do have garden plants ... your petunias and your annual flowers, you may have to provide some kind of protection,” Tilleraas said.

Protection can range from blankets to sheets or insulated coverings you can purchase in-store.

Tilleraas said the amount of layers you should use depends on how cold it is and how determined you are to save your crop.

He added that certain plants are more vulnerable to the cold, like garden vegetables, flowering plants, and flower beds.

While growers can choose when to harvest their crops according to their liking, Tilleraas recommends those who harvest now begin preparing for next year’s plants as well.

“It’s getting to the time -- if you harvest your garden -- the time to put in a couple of inches of compost and till it in and be ready for the next year,” Tilleraas said.

For those interested in growing fall crops, this month is an ideal time to plant bulb-like plants.