South Mississippi gardeners protect plants ahead of colder months

South Mississippi gardeners protect plants ahead of colder months

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The cold weather has South Mississippians preparing firewood, hot chocolate and other ways to keep warm indoors. But outdoors, gardeners are going through the annual routine of protecting their plants from the icy temperatures.

At Courtney Farms, the drop in temperature adds to the atmosphere.

“It is feeling like Christmas,” said employee Lori Kelly.

The closer the holiday season comes, the more concerned the staff are over the store’s plants.

“If it doesn’t have that cold tolerance, we will bring them inside,” Kelly said.

It’s the time of year when the workers are constantly checking for cold weather, something they said comes with the hobby.

“I personally love gardening. Even though I’ve done it a long time, I still love it,” she said.

While this week’s freeze isn’t a big concern for plant lovers and gardeners across South Mississippi, experts said it’s best to have a plan for the cold weather to come.

Experts said residents south of Interstate 10 have little to worry about.

However, there are concerns for those that live farther north or have more sensitive plants.

“Then things have to be moved closer to the house or, in the case of pots that are not too heavy, move them into a shelter,” Kelly said.

They also said watering leaves and the nearby ground is a good practice before a dip in temperature.

Anyone using covers should take them off plants once the sun comes up.

“It turns it into like a greenhouse. It’s going to get a little too warm for it,” Kelly said.

Overall, experts say to get to know your plants and what weather conditions they prefer and thrive in.

While the lifestyle takes a lot of work, gardeners said they find joy in what they do.

“We feel like we keep the Earth green and the environment healthy,” Kelly said.

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