Cool Montana spring affecting gardening

BILLINGS — It’s that time of year when gardens are coming back to life. And if you have plants or flowers, you know this spring has been a cool one.

Montana is no stranger to cold snaps and wind, but the weather this spring is really affecting plants and flowers.

“The arborvitae discoloration this year has to do with the cold snap and cold winds. What it does is it burns them. It burns the moisture out of them. That’s what makes them brown or yellowish. They look like they’re dead, basically,” says Shelli Gayvert, owner of Garden Avenue Greenhouse and Garden.

According to Gayvert, this year is the worst in five or six years for evergreens and arborvitae plants. Gayvert says the plants will come out of it, but it will take time. However, there is a way to speed up the process.

“Acid fertilizer. It works really well to boost their growth,” says Gayvert.

The cold spring has also taken its toll on many plants and flowers.

We could still see freezing temperatures in Montana and Gayvert has some advice to protect your plants, aside from a few vegetables.

“You might want to go out with water or turn your sprinklers on and put a layer of ice on them before the sun hits them and that will help protect them from freezing,” says Gayvert.

Several things for backyard gardeners to think about. And if that wasn’t enough, expect to pay more for plants this year.

“It’s just the supply chain trying to catch up with itself again. We had to increase, and everyone had to increase just to make up for it,” says Gayvert.