Best ways to protect plants from frost

Best ways to protect plants from frost


Well spring has well and truly sprung And things are bursting out with color and new growth all over the place. But
along with the good weather comes unfortunately sometimes cold nights that might get to beneath freezing point and that can damage the soft, young growth and fleshy flowers on some plants that are early flowering like my Star Magnolia
here which unfortunately was damaged in a
frost that we had last night The big fleshy flowers unfortunately are vulnerable when the temperatures dip
beneath freezing point. But, if you’re in a situation like me
where you’re having some damage what can you do to prevent it? Well, we could
do like the commercial growers and spray water over the plants,
particularly if there’s a lot of plants concentrated in
one area Hook up all holes and spray water over
it you see when water is sprayed and it releases latent heat and not often
enough to prevent damage. Well, if you just have a few
isolated small plants like this hydrangea here with soft young
growth on it, you can employ the old method of putting some form of protection over the top with it. Just gather the
branches and cover it up for the night, and that will
do the trick. It’s not too pretty but at least it will
prevent the damage during the night But when you have taller plants like
this Japanese maple here that’s got a lot of soft, young growth you’re going to have to employ other
methods. Now that would mean putting some sort of insulation material over the top for the plants, draping it
over. In the old days we used to use sheets perhaps even blankets, though they tend
to be a bit heavy I sometimes use the fabric that I
use in the garden for collecting up trimmings and weeds and so on. And plastic is better than nothing, but honestly
plastic isn’t that great, because it tends to collect humidity in underneath and the temperature under
plastic can sometimes actually be colder then it is out in the open air. But, for
me the best material is this fleecy frost blanket…… this is great stuff its light and airy, so it floats over the top so the plants. It has great insulation properties, and yet it
breaths, so it doesn’t collect moisture underneath. And best of all, it
allows light to pass through so that if you have to leave it on your
plant for a day or two, it’s not the end of the
world, it won’t matter. But whenever all frost passes, you can
take it off and you’ll be able to enjoy your plants.
And very easy to put on just cut into strips, tie it onto the plant or you could use cotton
twine. Perhaps weigh it down here on the bottom with a rock, something that will help to
keep it in place And you’ll be able to enjoy your
magnolias your Japanese maples or whatever it is
that you have to protect very easily with minimal cost Well that’s all very well, but what do
you do when you have a Magnolia like this one that’s twenty five, thirty foot in the
air? That’s full of gorgeous blooms and you can get up to the top of the
plant! Well, you might have to employ a boy a cherry picker or else to like the citrus growers and
put some heat underneath it. Just enough to raise the temperature to
prevent the damage And remember, if all else fails and you haven’t been able to get out to
protect your plants you can always go out, and cut them, and bring them indoors. Put them in a vase like these ones so that you’re able to enjoy them
indoors, whether it freezes outside or not Now there’s lots more information on our
website Gardensplendor.com. Enjoy your
gardening It’s good for us and it’s very good for
our environment too.

13 Replies to “Best ways to protect plants from frost”

  1. How to Protect Plants from Freezing

    If you are only expecting a light freeze, you may be able to protect plants in a freeze simply by covering them with a sheet or a blanket. This acts like insulation, keeping warm air from the ground around the plant. The warmth may be enough to keep a plant from freezing during a short cold snap.

    For added protection when you protect plants in a freeze, you can place plastic over the sheets or blankets to help keep warmth in. Never cover a plant with just plastic, however, as the plastic will damage the plant. Make sure that a cloth barrier is between the plastic and the plant.

    Be sure to remove the sheets and blanket and plastic first thing in the morning after an overnight cold snap. If you do not do so, condensation can build up and freeze again under the covering, which will

  2. I live in northern California.How do I protect my potted ferns from the fall and winter that's coming up. I had beautiful ferns last year but lost them because I didn't know how to protect them. Will a thin sheet be good enough?

  3. Adrienne,
    The fleece blanket would probably be OK for light frosts and short periods, but I doubt it would have enough insulation to be a long term solution. 
    The nice thing about potted plants is that you can move them, so obviously, when the weather is likely to get cold, see if you can move them indoors. I manage to over-winter my tender (and near hardy plants) in a  basement. It doesn't have any heat but there's enough warmth coming from the rest of my home to keep the temperature above freezing. I cluster the evergreens around the windows so they get some light and this works for me.
    If it is not possible to bring them indoors, then a suggestion I would make would be to talk to the folk at your favorite garden center next spring, and see if they can guide you with suggestions for ones that are hardier. There's quite a few hardy (garden) ferns that are really beautiful and maybe if you were to grow some of these in pots, you could cluster them in a sheltered spot or plunge the pots in soil during the winter time, to stop the roots from freezing. The idea is that you use these for decorating rather than tender ones. Hope this helps.        

  4. My trees are not dead, healing from frost but new plants are growing back from its roots? Shall i remove all tiny fresh branches from bottom bark?please advice .

  5. I live in Melbourne, Australia. Last winter I covered my chilli plants fully with fleece frost blanket and kept covered for the whole winter period. I found my plants died . Is it due to lack of water? Do I need to water often when I cover the plant fully with Fleece frost blanket. Do I need to keep open some area so air can get into? Please advise. Also do I need to take off blanket during day time when the temperature is above 0 degree C.

  6. Wonderful information! Your sweet. Earth protectors and I love the ending. Happy to brig the flowers in.
    I'm in Minneapolis thou.
    Winter is 20f most days.

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