Cold Weather Protection
February 13, 2016
All gardeners know there will come a time that we will need to protect some of our landscape plants from freezing temperatures. Let me show you some tips on bundling up your plants from the coming cold temperatures. Make sure your plants are well watered going into a cold weather event. This is especially true for plants grown in containers. The moisture in the root zone acts as a buffer to falling temperatures, providing insulation and releasing heat as it cools. Plants grown in containers have the advantage of being portable. Since most homeowners don’t have a greenhouse, an easy solution is moving the plants into the garage for a couple of days. If a garage is not an option, simply placing the plants up against the south or west side of the house will provide some protection. Obviously in-ground plants can’t be moved, so they need to be covered with some kind of sheet of material. I like to use fabrics like canvas painter tarps or plastic drop cloths. Ideally, the foliage should not touch the covering as the frost and ice will form on this surface. Using a series of hoops is an ideal way to cover and protect vegetable crops from potential cold weather damage. Simply stick them in the ground, and pull a cover over the top. Being prepared and having a plan is always the best method of protecting your landscape and garden plants. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.