How to Protect your Plants from Frost
During the winter or in areas around the world, frost is a threat to many plants. If you've just upgraded your landscape than it could result in a lot of loss. Here are some tips and tricks to keeping your plants safe.
COVERING PLANTS- A very common way to prevent frost/freeze from larger trees and shrubs is plant covering. Using any fabric such as old bed sheets, and burlap provide an insulation for locking in heat and moisture. You should always avoid plastic. Lay the fabric or cloth around the frame of the plant. Sometimes for smaller plants you should put up wire to keep the fabric from adding on too much weight. Uncover plants are temperatures have risen above the freezing point.
WATERING PLANTS- Watering plants before a freeze/frost decreases change of desiccation (drying). By watering the plants the evening before, it provides moisture to the soil that it would essentially loose while freezing. It also acts as an insulator of heat. Soil that is damp holds in more heat than dry soil. Be sure not to water the plants to heavily before a freeze otherwise it could cause a frost heave. This is where the water in the soil freezes solid. Light water instead.
MULCHING- Another common way to prevent frost is mulching. Some people prefer this over covering. Mulching the ground around a plant locks in heat and moisture. Although, some plants can handle the weight of mulching. Be sure when mulching, only mulch 2-3 Inches deep otherwise you could risk harming the plants. Spread out the mulch after temperatures have risen above freezing.
RAISED BEDS- Beds designed to rise slightly above the rest have a higher chance of not being damaged by the cold. The cold tends to stick to sunken areas rather than the higher areas. Keep in mind, raised beds do not mean they will not freeze. So opt to add another barrier for the cold.
INSIDE- Some tender bulbs and plants you may need to bring inside. Bringing them inside insures they do not freeze. Potted plants should always be brought inside. You can take them back out once you are sure the freeze is over.