Tulips and other bulb plants are ready for spring in Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

As winter drags on in Iowa, some gardeners might be concerned about plants that already have foliage up out of the ground.

Tulips, daffodils and other bulb plants that typically bloom in the spring should be OK, even with the unseasonably cold April temperatures we’ve been experiencing.

Unless they have blossoms on them already, which could be harmed by freezing temperatures, there is no need to cover them.

Snow – in the forecast again – could even serve as insulation against the cold.

If the plants already have blossoms, it might help to cover with a lightweight fabric, such as an old bed sheet, overnight (don’t put directly on the plants, but use wire or sticks to elevate above the plants so as not to break the blossoms off.) Remove the covering during the daytime.

The “blanket” will only add several degrees, though, so don’t be tempted to plant tender plants outdoors until the risk of frost has passed, usually in May.

Read about the Czech legend of the Three Frost Kings.