It’s frigid out, like really cold. Every year we get this bitter cold snap, and it seems like every year I always panic! Will my hardy annuals survive the negative temps??

This year, however, I saved myself a lot of heartache and only planted one row of hardy annuals. Everything else that I’m counting on surviving through the winter, I planted in crates, in the greenhouse. So far, the plants are loving being inside the greenhouse! The ranunculus look the best that I have ever seen them, and same with the anemones. It will be really interesting to see when they actually bloom!

This post might be a little too late, but you can always start planning for next year! 

Here are a few tips to help you get those hardy annuals through the winter: 

First of all, what are hardy annuals? They are annuals that like to get established (grow roots) in the winter and early spring. They like the cold temps. Then, once the warmth of spring is upon us, they really take off. They end up blooming at the perfect time, usually May and early June. Some of our favorites are: snapdragons, dianthus, feverfew, rudbeckia, scabiosa and foxglove. For a book all about hardy annuals, I highly recommend Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler.   

  • Low (caterpillar) tunnels are great protection for your baby hardy annual plants throughout the winter. However, you must do them correctly, otherwise they will be a giant headache all winter. The cold, gusty winds will take the plastic right off the hoops if it’s not anchored properly and you will have a miserable winter always reattaching the plastic. I don’t know this from experience or anything…
  • Frost cloth is your friend. We have many rolls of frost cloth hanging around to throw over our hardy annuals on those really cold weeks. Sometimes you might need a couple layers if you’re getting down into the negative temps. 
  • Make your plants cozy with a nice layer of mulch. Leaves are probably the best because you have the added benefit of all the decomposing leaf goodness that will flow into your soil. Straw would also be a good choice to give your plants an added layer of warmth during the winter.

Hope these help you and your plants get through the next cold snap! Spring is on the horizon, right?? 🙂

Best wishes,