Quick Ways to Protect Your Plants from Frost

For gardeners, frost can be a disaster.

Snow and hard frost are naturally characteristic of the winter months. 

In order to protect your gardens from the ravages of frost, it’s good to have a working knowledge of what frost actually is and what conditions may create it.

How does frost occur.?

Frost occurs when water vapor in the air forms dew, and is then also cooled to the point of freezing usually at night, Frost usually forms at night, when the air temperature is cooler. Once the sun rises and warms the air around the frosted object, frost melts quickly.

Some of the plants we grow can be damaged by frost, or require some winter shelter when young. 

As winters are approaching, you need to protect your plants from the cold damage that can cause big harm to crops. 

The plants are mostly damaged when the duration of cold temperature is for long instead of high intensity. So gardeners should take proper care and precautions to protect their plants from damage. 

Ways to protect plants from frost damage

Give Your Plants A Shower

Keeping your plants well-watered during frost season is another great way to help protect them.

Water the area well. Damp or wet soil holds warmth longer.

Watering your trees, shrubs, and perennials well in the fall is a key part of protecting them from frost as well. Shrubs and trees should have a good, deep soak in the fall a few days before the ground freezes. 

Blankets

Bring Out the Blankets round up old bedspreads, blankets, and large towels.

Wrapping the entire branch system of small trees or shrubs with horticultural frost cloth, burlap, plastic sheeting, or even old bedsheets will keep the temperature underneath a crucial few degrees warmer than outside.

A fabric covering is best because it will allow moisture to escape while still protecting your plants from frost. Fabric coverings will prevent the freezing air from coming into direct contact with the moisture on the plant while also capturing the heat that is radiating from the ground.

Bed sheets or comforters work best for covering large plants and shrubs.

Place Containers Over Frost Tender Seedlings

Place buckets, pots, storage totes, garbage cans, or any large container over frost tender seedlings. Weigh down with rocks or bricks if it is breezy.

Leaves

Leaves are amazing for protecting young or frost-sensitive plants when the temperature takes a dive, thick layer of leaves for however long the cold front lasts.

Keep The Home Fires Burning

If you are able to keep a fire stoked all night then do it.

The heat obviously keeps the plants from freezing.  You can also use big heaters if you don’t want to have to keep a fire stoked all night.

Bring plants inside

If you have potted plants in your garden, they’re easy to protect once the weather gets colder. Simply pick them up and bring them inside if you have room.

Leave them near a window so they still receive plenty of sunlight and continue watering them like you normally would.

Avoid Frost Pockets

Frost pockets are depressions in the ground. Cold air drains into these “pockets,” and it can’t get out. When this happens, plants located in the depressed areas can suffer frost damage.

Avoid sowing seeds and bedding new plants in these low places.

For tomatoes –

There’s a device called Wall-O-Water, which acts like a small radiator.  It is a ring of long plastic tubes held together in a cone shape. You pull the cone apart on the top and fill the tubes with water. Open them on sunny days to let the condensation out, or keep them closed when frost is expected. 

DESIGN YOUR GARDEN TO REDUCE FROST DAMAGE :

A garden positioned in front of a rock or brick wall benefits from the warmth absorbed by the wall during the day. At night, it will radiate heat slowly.
Use good soil 
Place plants in frost-resistant spots
Protect plants with cloches
A cold frame can be heated with an improvised heat sink: a dozen 1-gallon jugs of water. They absorb heat during the day and radiate it at night.

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