In some areas, late spring frost and winter frost destroys garden plants. The plants that are most vulnerable to frost are soft woods, bloomers and potted plants. When temperature drops at night, frost occurs and freezes the moisture on plant’s leaves and buds. This frozen moisture is devastating for seedlings and plants. But this damage is visible after two or three days only. The leaves and buds become blackened and mushy. To keep the moisture from freezing and protect the plants you must take the following action.
1. To maintain warm temperature of the soil and the plant, spread shredded barks, straw and leaves around the plants. This will not only help in mulching plants but also protect them from weeds.
2. If you can keep beds moist and free from weeds, then you can protect your plants from frost damage. Moisture attracts heat from the soil during winter nights and keeps the plants warm.
3. You have to cover your outdoor plants to protect them from frost. Instead of covering the plants with plastic sheets, try to cover the plants either with linen or news paper. If still you are covering with plastic, then do not forget to remove the cover early in the morning to allow plants to get warmth during day time.
4. You can use bed sheets for covering large plants, shrubs and sprouts that are very tender. They will protect plants from cold freezing air and avoid direct contact.
5. Protect vines by covering them with nylon netting. Mount the net on the wall with hooks and hang it to the ground.
6. For light frost you can use shower curtains.
7. To keep plants from freezing you can use lighting bulbs. Use small bulb for tender plants and larger bulbs for bigger plants.
8. Another option for protecting the plants from frost damage is to use portable heaters to keep them warm. Two types of potable heaters are available; Electrical and gas powered. Use any of them but don’t place them too close to plants otherwise they can get burned.
If you fail to protect your plants from frost, you will not be able to enjoy the beauty of early spring flowers like daffodil, crocus or tulips.