It’s quite rare here in the South, but every now and then, we do get a freeze warning. As many of our southern gardens are made to take the heat, a freeze warning can be quite damaging if we don’t plan ahead or protect our plants. Here are our best ways to protect your garden during a freeze.
Know Your Plants: Which Plants Need Frost Protection?
Know which gardening zone that you are in and select your plants accordingly. Some plants in your zone will survive freezes, but may go dormant or die back in cold weather. Any summer annuals or indoor tropical houseplants will not likely survive a freeze and will need protection.
How to Protect your Garden during a Freeze
Bring Potted Plants Indoors
If your plant is in a container, you can bring your plant indoors temporarily. Put plants near a window and avoid putting them under heater drafts to avoid temperature shock.
Water Your Plants ahead of the Freeze
For a quick freeze, water the soil around your outside plants before the freeze as this holds heat in better than dry soil. However, avoid doing this in the case of an extended hard freeze.
Mulch Plant Roots
For a short cold snap, you can mound up mulch around the trunks and roots of outdoor plants to protect them from frost. Be sure to un-mound the mulch and spread it away from the trunks as soon as the freeze passes.
Cover Plants for Frost Protection
An old blanket, cloth, or tarp can provide plants with frost protection. However, the best solution is an inexpensive freeze cloth for plants which can be found at most garden centers. Use stakes to tent the cloth coverings so that the cloth is not touching the leaves of the plant and secure the ends of the covering with weights. Remove the cloth immediately after the freeze so that the plant can breathe.
If your Plant is Damaged from Frost, Wait and See
A few days after the freeze, plants may show some signs of frost damage. If this happens, don’t worry just yet and wait until the spring to determine if your plant is really gone. Many plants will regrow from their roots or put out new growth. Before you start removing the damaged parts of the plant, wait until you see the new growth.
Thank you for reading and we hope that this provides you with some tips on how to protect your garden during a freeze. Enjoy our mild gardening weather this winter and if the weather turns frightful, we hope you and your plants stay warm!
Featured Image: Maracay Homes