How to Protect Plants from a Deep Freeze
The weather can be unpredictable, and gardeners know that being prepared for an especially hot day or an unseasonably cold night can mean the difference between a bountiful harvest and a ruined crop. Even the decorative flowers that you worked so hard to fit into your landscaping project are susceptible to damage from fluctuating temperatures. If the forecast is predicting frost, these tips can help protect your plants and ensure that they continue to thrive.
Cover Your Plants
Simply cover your plants with a sheet or blanket overnight. You can also spread an extra layer of plastic on top for added protection. Always make sure there is cloth between the plastic and your plants. This ensures that heat is trapped underneath and keeps the foliage warm through the night. Remove the sheets first thing in the morning to prevent condensation from developing inside.
Water Your Garden
Watering with a hose or watering can before a frost will actually help to protect your vegetation. The wet soil will release moisture into the air through the night, which will in turn raise the temperature and keep the garden warm.
Move Potted Plants Indoors
Plants that grow in pots or planters can be moved indoors. You can also dig up tender bulbs and keep them in a cool and dry place for the duration of the deep freeze.
Use Warm Water
Place jugs full of water in the sun to soak up heat during the day. At night, you can set these jugs around the plants and cover everything with a sheet to help contain the warmth slowly radiating from the water.
Place your plants in areas that will resist frost, like on higher ground or slopes. You can even plant bushes and shrubs by walls or fences to use these structures as a means of protection. If they are darker in color they will absorb even more heat in the daytime which is radiated through the night.
Choose Your Flora Carefully
Select flowers and vegetables that are hardy and will thrive despite the harsh conditions of winter. Make sure you don’t apply fertilizer until after the last frost or you risk causing extensive damage to the first new growths.