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Landscaping expert: Leave plants alone, even if worried about frost

CREATED Mar. 23, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - Even after the record-breaking heat of the last week, there's always the chance of a late frost striking Southeastern Wisconsin.

An expert in landscaping tells us that even if a forecast comes which shows below-freezing temps on the horizon, you should leave your plants alone.

"Really, the best thing to do is leave things alone a little bit," said "Designer Yard Show" host Bret Achtenhagen of Seasonal Services on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"Once we're out of the threat of frost, we can start to clean things up a little bit and make things look as good as they possibly can."

Achtenhagen made it a point to differentiate between the type of plants he's describing and the plants you put in your garden.

"Landscaping plants are different than annuals and garden plants.  I hope nobody's out there planting their gardens just yet," explained Achtenhagen.

"With your vegetables and your annual flowers, covering them with a blanket or something will protect them, but with your landscaping plants, frost may damage the leaves and they'll look unsightly, but mother nature has a fantastic way of protecting herself.  Plants are able to re-sprout and grow new leaves."

But, he told us that some work may need to be done on a few plants after the frosty season ends in our state.

"Re-growth of new leaves (may) not be as pleasing to the eye as the original growth.  Once we're definitely out of the fear of frost, we would go in and prune lilacs, burning bushes.  It will start to grow new branches and put out new leaves."