Protecting Plants from Frost
Like any living thing, plants need special care when it comes to extreme temperature changes unless, of course, you think stick gardens are the next big thing. With that in mind, now is the time to start thinking about the best ways of protecting plants from frost.
Simple Steps and Easy Tips for Protecting Plants from Frost
Here’s an easy one bring all potted plants inside, out of the cold. Whether you’re bringing them into your home or simply moving them to the garage or sunroom, getting the away from the frigid air outside will be greatly beneficial to the plant just be aware of a few considerations as you begin your mission of rescue.
Even inside, there are certain areas that will better serve the survival of your plant:
- Place potted plants in areas of sunlight that meet their needs of exposure to light.
- Avoid air vents the heated air will dry them out and even kill them.
- Keep them from touching windows; the residual cold transfer from the frozen surface of the window panes will damage any areas of contact.
- Spread some mulch, which will serve as insulation against the cold by trapping heat and moisture in the soil. Having a two to three-inch layer of mulch will prevent the damaging effects of frozen soil, which can interfere with a plant’s ability to access water. Frozen soil is hostile in other ways, as well the freeze/thaw cycle so common in winter can essentially make the soil reject the plant.
- Bundle them up at bedtime! Find an old blanket, drop cloth, sheet, or tarp to cover them up as a short-term solution against the freeze, but uncover them again during daylight. Spread the covering in a way that avoids contact with leaves or branches the added weight can cause damage to the plant, so it might be necessary to use stakes to prop up any covering you’re planning to use.
- Cold frames are an ideal method of protecting plants from frost especially if you’re a DIY’er. These structures are easy to build and offer temporary shelter during winter months, and it only takes a few materials to achieve your goal. In fact, they can be made simply by bending several flexible metal rods in an arch over a garden area, then stretching clear plastic sheeting across the surface of the arched rods to enclose your plants. For a more hands off, permanent means of protecting plants from frost, consider a pre-fabricated greenhouse.
- Part of protecting plants from frost is water! You may not realize it, but heavily watering the soil around your plants before frozen temperatures hit can keep them from dying. Wet soil actually traps more heat than dry soil does, and the slowly evaporating water warms the air around your plants. Just be mindful that, for a hard freeze, the extra water will be detrimental; and watering soil that’s already frozen is not only unhelpful, but hazardous.
- Apply some heat. Strings of Christmas lights are an easy method of protecting plants from frost, not to mention an attractive one. Other simple ways of heating things up against a winter freeze include placing low-level heat sources in greenhouses, cold frames, or whatever tented shelter you’ve decided to use just be sure that none of these heat sources is coming into direct contact with the plants. The last thing you want to do is burn them.
Protecting plants from frost is easy enough and, if you take pride in your property, it’s just one more step in securing the investment you’ve made in your landscape. Taking precautions now can ensure a return on investment later; and when spring has finally sprung, those blooming buds and gorgeous greens will be all the more rewarding.
Fend off the frost and watch your foliage flourish! Contact Executive Landscape, Inc., for more helpful tips on protecting plants from frost today!