The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Spring is getting white welcome mat
Andy Lynn, manager of Roxbury Farm & Garden Center in Fredericksburg, wasn’t too worried when he heard about snow in the forecast for this past weekend.
“It’s not really snow that harms plants,” he said. “It’s wet. It’s a good insulator. It’s the cold, dry weather you have to watch out for.”
Very few early spring plants are affected by the cold, Lynn said.
“You don’t have to worry about daffodils blooming,” he said. “They wouldn’t bloom this early if they couldn’t handle the weather.”
With the first day of spring Wednesday, Sunday night’s snow storm was a surprise to more than just gardeners.
“Compared to last year, it was warmer at the end of March so this cold might be a surprise to most people,” said Heather Sheffield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The snow storm dusted the Fredericksburg area with less than an inch of snow Sunday night and continued into Monday, turning to rain during the afternoon.
Further west, in and around Culpeper, Orange and Louisa counties, total snow accumulation reached about one inch.
An alert from the weather service said because of a blast of arctic air this week, “it will feel more like January instead of March in these areas.”
Sheffield said roads were not expected to freeze overnight and should be fine this morning.
Temperatures in Fredericksburg could reach 60 degrees today, but another cold front will cool the area down later in the week.
However, precipitation is not expected after today.
Lynn said that blast of cold air is a larger threat to plants.
For cold-weather plants that are already in the ground, such as lettuce and broccoli, Lynn recommends covering them with straw or a bed sheet to keep the cold at bay, and being careful not to break the plants when covering them.
Lynn has seen a lot of people with “spring fever” around Roxbury but said not to rush into spring planting.
“Don’t be too anxious about getting plants in the ground,” he said. “Wait another month and the tomatoes will be a lot happier with warm soil.”
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976