Protecting your plants from frost and cold temperatures

Weather

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — When the weather forecast calls for near to below-freezing temperatures, it’s time to take steps to protect sensitive plants from the cold.

Frost and freezing temperatures can damage and kill tender plants. Here are a few tips to protect, and potentially save, plants during a late-season cold snap:

  • Cover plants and gardens: Covering plants with bedsheets or blankets can help keep warm air from the ground around the plant. These coverings act like insulation and give plants just enough warmth. Plastic coverings can be used, but do not let the plastic touch the plants. The plastic will transfer the cold and injure the plant where it touches the plastic. If you use plastic as a covering, use stakes or hoops to keep the material off of the plants
  • Water thoroughly before covering: Before you cover your plants, make sure to water them. Water also acts as an insulator and helps to retain warmth around the plants.
  • Bring potted plants indoors: If you have potted plants that can be easily moved into a garage or inside a house, go ahead and bring them inside. This is the easiest way to protect potted plants from cold temperatures.

While covering plants can protect against freezing temperatures and frost, you’ll want to make sure to take the coverings off once the temperatures start to warm back up. Leaving the sheets or blankets on for too long after the sun comes up can cause temperatures to go up under the coverings. This could “cook” your plants. Remove coverings once the sun comes up and place them back over your plants if frost or freezing conditions are expected for the next night.

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