How To: Protect Your Plants from Frost

With colder temperatures setting in it’s essential to know how to protect your plants from frost, as young and delicate plants can be easily ruined by a sudden cold snap. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so here we have several quick and easy ways to protect your garden, especially if you live in a moderate or cool zone.

How To: Protect Your Plants from Frost

What is Frost Damage?

Thankfully, not all plants in your garden will require protection from the elements but there are certain selections that will. These types include seedlings and new growth, tender perennials, half-hardy varieties and tropical or subtropical plants such as palms and banana plants. 

Keep on the lookout for signs of frost damage including blackened patches, distorted leaves or limp growth. If you’re unsure it’s worth researching the hardiness of the plants in your garden and keeping an eye on the weather forecast for your area.

Move Indoors or Plunge

One of the easiest ways to protect plants from frost is to bring any potted plants indoors. Potted plants are more susceptible to frost damage as they are not insulated by the ground. Bring them indoors to a conservatory, garage, porch or frost-free greenhouse – just make sure the area isn’t too warm. 

If you’re unable to move containers indoors, for example, they’re too big or too heavy, you can wrap the pots up in bubble or fleece. This should stop the roots from becoming frozen. Another option is to plant the pot in the ground with just the rim protruding to benefit from the insulating properties of the ground – this is called plunging.

How To: Protect Your Plants from Frost

Wrapping and Lifting

Larger garden plants and shrubs can even be covered with horticultural fleece. In a pinch, you can also use bed sheets or bubble wrap, too! Simple place several stakes around the plants and then cover them with your chosen material. Weigh down the corners so they don’t get blown away during the night, and then take off the covers in the morning. 

If you have tender perennials that have already bloomed and died down, they can be lifted to protect them from frost. Store the roots, tubers and bulbs in a cool place such as a shed or greenhouse, making sure they will not freeze.

Cloche and Mulch

Another way to protect small, individual plants is to use a Cloche. They are bell-shaped covers usually made from plastic or glass that can be placed over plants before an impending frost. You can also make your own using recycled items such as cut-up milk cartons. These are ideal for vegetables that have been sown in the autumn such as spring onions, asparagus or broad beans. 

For some plants in the garden,  you can add a layer of dry mulch to garden beds. This can include chipped bark, straw or even piles of leaves to give an added layer of protection.

Something that is often overlooked is simply moving plants to a more sheltered location where possible or making an area more sheltered. Pots can be grouped together and raised off the ground slightly with wood or bricks to aid in drainage.

If you would like some more information on how to protect your garden and plants this winter, you can pop in store at Holt Garden Centre for some expert advice and guidance.

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