Monday, November 27, 2017

Frost finally arrived!

Dear Readers,

This will be James' and Gianni's final blog until the new year. For this blog they formulated questions about frost and how it affects plants. Then they researched the questions and found photos to go with their writing. Enjoy!

P.S. Mrs. Minott will post a few garden/greenhouse updates between now and mid-January. Stay tuned...

What plants survive after frost?

Leeks survive after frost. 
                                               Kale survives in the frost.

How do some plants survive the frost?
Plants from climates with cold winters have evolved to survive winter by going dormant. The lowered concentration of water in a plant's tissue acts like a natural anti freeze. It means it takes a deeper cold to form ice inside them.

How does the frost kill plants?
Cold weather, particularly frost, causes the water in plants' cells to freeze, damaging the cell wall. Roots are unable to take up water and plants die from lack of moisture. Periods of cold and frosty weather during April and May can also kill blossoms and damage fruit. 

Why do plants die so quickly in the frost?
Frost-damaged plants are easy to spot, because they become limp and roots are unable to take up water (same as above).

How fast does it take a plant to die after the frost?
Does it differ depending on the type of plant?

Water in a plant's cell can freeze at any temperature under 32 degrees and can damage the plant. Whether that cold air actually damages plants in your garden will depend on how low it gets, the species of plant, whether it is in a sheltered spot in your yard, or how long the low temperature lasts and many other factors.  

Some of the plants in the MDES garden, after our hard frost.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Oxygen and Late Fall Flowers

Gianni's Blog

Plants give us oxygen. When we talk we give them CO2. Oxygen is made in the leaves of plants. Trees, big plants, small plants, all green plants make oxygen.  

Gianni's Question: How do we share CO2 with plants?

Mrs. Minott;s Answer: CO2 is a waste product we breathe out. Plants absorb CO2 through tiny pores in their leaves.

James' Blog

I love how this morning glory looks, and I love the colors and how it only partially opened this morning. It only partially opened because we have not had too much sun. 

This flower is beautiful. It’s magenta. (Mrs. Minott adds that this is celosia.)

I think the third flower is a petunia, because I had cherry cheesecake petunias that looked similar to them. 

James' Question: What is your favorite fall flower?

Mrs. Minott's Answer: My favorite fall flower is a purple aster.