How To Protect Your Plants From Frost

With winter nearly here and temperatures finally dropping, frost will be coming to all outside living plants, gardens, and foliage. It is time to protect your plants from frost and help keep them healthy and safe during the cold winter months. There are many ways and methods for protecting your landscaped areas and planted gardens. Plants need warmth and shelter when the outside air is below freezing and leaving them unattended can cause severe damage and even total destruction of your plants, shrubs, and gardens.

What is frost and when does it happen?

Frost is the freezing of moisture when temperatures fall below a certain level. Frost can be measured in four levels of severity.

  • A slight frost occurs when temperatures are 32.0 to 25.7 °F
  • A moderate frost occurs when temperatures are 25.6 to 20.3 °F
  • A severe frost occurs when temperatures are 20.2 to 11.3 °F
  • And the most severe frost happens at 11.3 °F and below

Here are 5 tips to help protect your plants from frost

#1 Mulch

The root system of plants is the core heart behind the plant’s growth and success. During winter months. roots need to be well insulated to avoid damage and decay. Spread 2-4 inches of your choice of mulch around all planted beds, shrubs, and small trees in the fall to ready the ground for the frost and freezing temperatures. This layer of protection will keep the below-ground warmth in and the above-ground cold out.

#2 Plant Wraps

In the past, burlap sacks were used to cover and wrap plants for frost-prone nights and freezing temperatures. They are still used today but we now have many types of landscape covers, blankets, wraps, plastic coatings, and tarps that can be used to shield the plant’s foliage from frost-bite and dying.

#3 Use Shelter

Potted plants that are mobile should be brought to cover to avoid frost. Use your garage, tool shed, covered patio, or even walled-in courtyard to minimize freezing and damage to the plant.

#4 Avoid Over-Watering

In the winter months, plants become dormant and stop their growing process. They do not require as much water as they do in the spring and summer and watering during a freeze or frost can actually cause unneeded harm to your plants. During the winter, try to only water your plants when the temperatures are above freezing and the sun is out.

#5 Invest In A Greenhouse

Greenhouses come in many different styles, sizes, and levels of cost to accommodate anyone’s needs. A small greenhouse will soak up the sun’s rays during the day, trapping in all the warmth and keeping the cold air out once night falls and the temperatures begin to drop again. Greenhouses are extremely efficient heat conductors and will protect your plants from damage from the cold.

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