How to Protect Your Plants from Freeze Damage
Well it won’t officially be spring for a week or so…but with the warm weather we’ve recently had, some of our plants are seemingly getting a head-start. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that these recent dips below freezing…and those in the forecast…won’t do too much damage to all this tender new growth.
I know…many of you in other areas of the country are probably going…Whaaaaa-whaaaa! But here in the South, a Spring cold snap could really screw things up for us…just like a few snow flakes does to our driving!!!
But come on, who would want to see such quintessential Southern flowers, like the Nikko Blue Hydrangea, not have a chance to show off this Spring?!? That just ain’t right!
So to minimize the potential impact of late freezes to your plants & flowers…and mine…I’m going to share a few links that I found. They are all about: How to protect your plants from freeze damage.
Here are my quick take-aways…and it’s really quite simple:
- Cover your plants. You could use fabric, plastic, or even cardboard. Anything that will trap the radiant heat coming up from the ground.
- I use fabric (e.g., sheets and drop-cloths) because that’s what I have…and, besides, if fabric touches the plants it actually warms the plant vs. freeze them, like plastic would.
- If you do use plastic…2 things: 1. use a stick or something to minimize the chances of plastic touching and damaging your plants; and 2. make sure to remove the plastic in the morning before the sun bakes your plants. That would be bad.
- If you use fabric and rain is in the forecast, you will also want to use a stick or something to prop it up…because the weight of the water-soaked fabric could crush your plant.
- Also, if you use fabric, make sure to remove it as soon as the temps get above freezing…so your plants can get the sun that they need.
- Regardless of if you use fabric or plastic, make sure to bring it all the way to the ground to seal in all the heat that you can…keeping it in place with a brick or dirt or rocks…or mulch.
- Make sure you cover your plants before it gets below freezing – you want the air that you trap to be as warm as possible.
- Feel free to double or triple-up on your layers of cover…the more layers the warmer your plants will be. Just make sure not to crush them under the added weight!
- Cardboard boxes are also good for that smaller plants that can be contained under one.
- If your mulch is looking a bit wimpy, go ahead and beef it up before the temps start dipping below freezing…think of it as added insulation.
So that’s what I gleaned from my reading…but here are the links if you want to read more:
- WalterReeves.com: Protecting Plants from a Spring Cold Snap
- Nola.com: How to protect plants from freeze damage: Dan Gill’s mailbag
- GardeningKnowHow.com: Protect Your Plants In A Freeze – How To Protect Plants From Freezing
I hope this helps you keep your plant babies warm this week…so that your Spring will be as joy-filled as it can be.
Take care all,
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