Category Archives: What’s Blooming

snowfall on pansies

Can pansies survive snow? What you need to know

Did you ever plant pansies, only to find out a snowstorm is on the way?  We’re here to tell you what happened when we planted our pansies, and then a surprise snowstorm occurred overnight.  Can you guess the outcome?

Planting pansies early

Pansies are known for their hardiness. People usually plant them in early spring, knowing that they can survive colder temperatures.  Here are the pansies we planted.  Aren’t these orange pansies beautiful?

Orange Pansies in Black Container

We also planted yellow ones in a pretty planter stand that was crafted out of wood.

Yellow pansies

And then it snowed

On April 19th, we awoke to an unexpected snow-covered yard. It was so beautiful, until sheer panic set in when I realized my pansies were outside. Some of them were under a covered porch, while others were in containers unprotected from the elements. And then there were the ones that I planted directly in the window boxes of our shed. My heart sank.

Orange pansies covered in snow

According to the news reports, the rain changed over to sleet around midnight. It was followed by about an inch of snow. So when I looked at the pansies around 7:00 a.m. they were covered in snow. I hustled to lug the containers into the house, hoping that they weren’t outside too long. Within an hour, the snow melted, and after another hour things were looking optimistic.

Yellow pansies after snow

By the end of the day, I knew the yellow and orange pansies would be fine.  As for the pansies out in the window boxes, I wasn’t able to bring those indoors. I thought about covering the plants with a plastic bag or pillow case, but instead I just let Mother Nature take her course. What was the result? They were fine! We were so thrilled that all of the pansies survived.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are referral links, which means that if you make a purchase, there is no extra cost to you, but Running A Household will receive a commission.  Thank you for supporting our website.

Lessons learned

Pansies can survive cold temperatures slightly under 32 degrees. They can even survive a light sleet and snow storm.  In fact, the ice may have acted as an insulation to protect the flowers.

Frost Protection Covers for Plants

Did you know there are special frost protection covers for plants available, like this one:

PHI VILLA Plant Protector Bag Frost Protection Cover Plant Cover

These covers are terrific because they come in all different sizes.  You can use them to cover plants, bushes and even small fruit trees to protect them from a frost.

Going forward, we plan to keep an eye on the daily forecast, so that we can take necessary precautions. Anything is possible here in New England.  So if a larger snowstorm is headed your way, be sure to bring your pansies indoors.

Happy gardening! 🙂

Are you ready to go strawberry picking: tips you can't miss

Are you ready to go strawberry picking?

Strawberry season is here.  Are you ready to go strawberry picking?  If you are planning to pick your own strawberries, here are a few tips that will make your trip successful.

Strawberry Picking: Plan Ahead

Before you go picking, you’ll want to do the following things:

  • Call ahead to confirm berries are ready and to determine the picking hours.
  • Plan to go early in the morning.  If you can, go as soon as they open.  The saying “The early bird gets the worm” is true for strawberry picking.  You’ll have a better selection of strawberries, since the rows won’t be picked over.
  • Wear old clothes.  You might get a strawberry stain.  It usually comes out in the wash, but just in case…

What to Bring When Picking Your Own Strawberries

  • Water: You’ll be thirsty after picking.
  • Cash: Many small farms do not have credit card machines.
  • A change of shoes: I like to wear flip flops.  I can take them off right after picking, and they are easy to hose off when I get home.  Other pickers like to wear socks and sneakers.  Whatever you decide, just bring a change of shoes.  If you step on a berry, you won’t want to track it into your car.
  • Clean up supplies:  Baby wipes or wet face cloth in plastic bag.  You will want to clean your fingers after picking.

Picking Your Own Strawberries: Tips for Picking in the Field

Usually, only certain rows are open.  Try to pick a row that no one has picked in yet.  It will make picking much faster.

Since you pay by the pound, you’ll want to pick clean.  That means, do not pick the stems.  Pick the strawberry where the stem meets the berry.  Leave the whole stem behind, so only the green leaves stay on the berry.

Be sure to look in between the strawberry bushes.  Many people simple pick along the edges where you can easily see the berries.  By looking in between the leaves, you’ll find lots of berries.

It’s okay to eat a few strawberries while you are there.  After all, you want to know if the berries are sweet and tasty.  Just don’t overdo it. 🙂

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are referral links, which means that if you make a purchase, there is no extra cost to you, but Running A Household will receive a commission.

After you Finish Picking Strawberries

You’ll want to get the strawberries home and into the refrigerator.  I like to transfer mine into a colander, so that there a few holes to allow air in. I also cover the top of the colander loosely with plastic wrap.  This keeps anything from falling into the strawberries.

Are you ready to go strawberry picking?

Lastly, it’s important to have a strawberry huller.  This handy tool allows you to easily take the leaves off the berry.  You can certainly cut this part off with a knife, but you will take off too much of the strawberry.  With a Strawberry Huller, you will only take off the leaves, and keep the rest of the strawberry to eat.

Enjoy your strawberries!  There’s nothing quite like eating strawberries that were just picked.  🙂

Here are a few additional articles you may enjoy reading:

Summer Meal Ideas

How to host a simple cookout

Time Saving Tip: Shop Local