How You Should Protect Your Garden from Frost
Having trouble with frost? Don’t worry, I’ll go straight to the point because no gardener wants his plants to get too cold!
One of the effective strategies is to cover your plants until the covers reach the soil. Doing this before nightfall is necessary. Otherwise, the cover will be useless. You don’t have to get a fancy cover for them. You can make your DIY plant cover with cardboard, newspapers, and sticks. When assembled, they’ll do the job. You can even just lay the covers over your plants if you don’t have sticks. If, however, you need to cover them prior to a hard frost, do it before dusk while the stored heat in your garden hasn’t dissipated yet. Make sure it covers the sides of your plants too! When morning arrives and the frost has melted, remove the covers.
You can also cover them using cloches. These are plastic or glass covers that can be removed. They’re also called bell jars or called bells. When it comes to protecting your plants, they do the task pretty well. They fit most individual plants but can be big enough to cover a whole row of them!
Plastic cloches are cheaper than glass ones. The downside is they’re lighter so you have to stake them into the ground to keep them from being blown away by strong winds.
On the other hand, glass cloches are perfect decorations. You can use them indoors to cover your houseplants.
Cloches are just like any other cover—you must place them over the plants before sunset and remove them after the frost has dissolved.
Still, cloches aren’t permanent measures. You can remove the bottoms of baskets, mason jars, flower pots, and milk jugs and use them as substitutes for cloches.
Another way to protect your plants is to warm them using water jugs. It’s similar to when you drink hot tea or cocoa on a cold night. All you have to do is to get your empty milk jugs, fill them with water, and expose them in the sun to let them absorb the heat during the day. Then place them around your plants before dusk. Cover your plants together with the jug. The water in the jugs will slowly lose more heat when compared to the air and the soil. The warmth they release will protect your plants from frost overnight like a warm, wool blanket.
You can protect potted plants by bringing planters and hanging the baskets indoors. When you know when the frost is coming, you can place them inside the house. Potted plants are more vulnerable to root damage because their roots undergo more intense temperature changes than those planted in the ground. They can reach lower temperatures as well. Because of the cold, their roots which are near the pot’s edges can turn black and spongy. Root damage won’t kill the plant, but it will hamper its growth.
If bringing hanging baskets indoors isn’t an option for you, then place them on the ground before covering them. This way, they’ll benefit from the warmth emitted by the ground.
This last method sounds a little off, but it actually works. One way to keep your plants warm is to water them before a frost. Doing this the night before a spring frost is actually a great idea. When you water them, the soil will get wet and it will emit moisture into the air. It will raise the temperature and keep your plant warmer.