Frost protection: 5 Quick Tips

Frost protection: 5 Quick Tips

This week was frosty!

Winter frost can quickly turn a lush summer garden into an icy nightmare, but you don’t have to let it take all of your beautiful plants. Keeping this wintery foe at bay is easier than ever before with these simple tips:

STEP 1 - Mulch your garden
By layering organic mulch around your garden plants during winter, you're creating a protective barrier against the elements. This will help retain moisture, prevent soil erosion, and even reduce weed growth. Plus, it's a great way to add nutrients back into your soil! When you invest in some mulch, you’ll keep your greens safe all season long.

STEP 2 - Cover your plants
Make sure to cover your plants before nighttime temperatures drop below freezing. Using a blanket or sheet of plastic can help insulate the plants from the cold and trap warmth in.

You should also create a “frost barrier” around your plants by placing stakes around each plant and then wrapping them in hessian or other natural materials. This creates an extra layer of protection that helps keep your plants safe from the elements.

STEP 3 - Hose your plants before sunrise

Use an old farming trick and set your irrigation timer to water your plants just before sunrise. This is when temperatures reach their coldest overnight. Water that is sprayed is warmer than the plant and can warm the air around the plant. This heat is transferred to the plants and prevents their cells turning to ice, causing leaf damage.

STEP 4 - Bring frost sensitive potted plants indoors overnight when temperatures run too low outside.

STEP 5 - Don’t prune frost damaged plants until spring

While it may be tempting to trim off frost damaged leaves, branches and flowers after a cold spell, it's important to wait until spring before doing so.

Pruning away frost-damaged parts in winter can be risky for plants because they won't have the energy stores to heal quickly until warmer weather arrives. Waiting until spring also gives plants time to develop new growth that is not affected by the cold temperatures, giving them a better chance of surviving.

Trimming frost damaged plants during winter can stunt future growth, leading to weakened plants and poor blooms come summertime. So hold off pruning these plants until you see new signs of growth in the springtime.

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