In areas where an early fall frost or a late spring frost can threaten garden and landscaping plants, Garden.com can help you protect them. Frost can occur even in supposedly frost-free areas. It is imperative to pay attention to the weatherman’s warning of frost and take action to protect your plants. It is possible to extend your growing season by several weeks if you are able to keep your plants alive through a single early frost! After researching plants that are suitable for your growing zone and spending time and money, it’s worth the effort to protect them and enjoy the plants longer.
How Frost Affects Plants
Typically, the more established a plant is, the better it will fare. Potted plants and hanging baskets are especially vulnerable to frost damage because the roots are not protected by the additional warmth that the ground holds. The sides are where a lot of heat is lost. The highest danger of frost occurs during the night when the temperature falls low enough to freeze the moisture on plant leaves and buds. To protect plants from frost, you will need to cover them to keep the moisture from freezing.
The best thing you can do for outdoor flowerbeds is mulch. A two to four inch layer of mulch will serve as an insulating blanket for your plants' roots. It helps keep the soil warmer than the surrounding air. Even your plants can appreciate having warm, toasty toes during a cold night. There are plenty of choices when it comes to mulch, including straw, shredded bark and pine needles. One major benefit of straw is that it is hollow, allowing an effective layer of insulation without being too tightly packed. However keep in mind that mulch also provides a friendly nesting place for small rodents and pests such as plant eating insects.
You should also water your plants before frost is expected since wet soils retain more heat than dry soil. A moist soil can hold four times more heat than a dry soil. It will also conduct heat to the soil surface faster than a dry soil, aiding in frost prevention.Water loses heat more slowly than either soil or air. This collected heat will radiate out throughout the night. In addition as water freezes heat is released.
Types of Plant Covers
Plastic can be used to protect plants from frost. However, it’s not the best choice because it’s not a very efficient material. In fact, some experts suggest not using it because plastic or vinyl materials do not breathe and actually cause moisture to become trapped inside the cover. If the temperature drops low enough, the increase in moisture presents a greater threat to the plants. Additionally, it is important that the plastic be removed once the sun comes out the following morning; otherwise, the plants may suffocate.
A fabric covering will allow moisture to escape but will still protect plants from frost by preventing the freezing air from coming into direct contact with the moisture. 100% non-woven materials such as those made by Frost Protek™ are lightweight and breathable. The cover protects 4°F to 6°F below freezing (about 26°F). Frost Protek™ fabric insulates better than household items such as sheets, blankets, and plastic. More importantly, Frost Protek™ plant covers also enable air and UV light to reach the plant. Because of these features, these covers may be left on the plant indefinitely. There's no need to remove the cover each morning and replace it each evening.
Additional Benefits of Using Plant Covers
You can now avoid hurting yourself while lifting or moving heavy potted plants indoors and back outdoors. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of breaking branches when moving the hanging baskets and potted plants. Storing plants in your home uses up valuable space and leaves them susceptible to damage from pets as well. And speaking of storage, plant covers dry quickly and store easily for use year after year!
Plant covers can extend your growing season and allow you to enjoy your decorative plantings as long as possible and obtain the largest yield possible from your vegetables and fruits. Weather conditions are unpredictable. You can protect plants from frost if you are both prepared—and aware of the pending weather. Although we can’t control the weather, Garden.com can help you be prepared with products that will give your plants protection from the frost. The key is to be prepared, because once cold nights or frost arrives, it may be too late to extend the life of your plants.
Garden.com has a wide selection of the best frost protection covers on the internet. If you’re looking for frost protection for plants Garden.com has exactly what you need.