How to Protect Plants From Frost

Unexpected frost from chilly weather can be very damaging to plants and can even devastate an entire garden. 5-Minute Crafts created a list of 5 things you can do to protect your plants from extreme cold.

1. Bring your potted plants inside.

When there’s frost in the forecast, wait until dusk and put all your potted plants inside. Plants that are inside containers are more prone to frost damage. Choose a place that is not too warm so there are no sudden temperature changes, like in a garage, shed, or basement, for example.

2. Water the plants in the afternoon before the frost comes.

If you see frost in the forecast, water your plants before it happens. This will give them time to absorb the water and prepare for a cold evening. Keeping the soil moist helps protect the plants from cold and frost, as moist soil has an insulating effect, which radiates heat upward. Water the plants in the afternoon while temperatures are still somewhat warm.

3. Cover the plants with a sheet or blanket.

You can help protect your plants from freezing by covering them with a sheet or blanket. This will keep in the warm air from the ground around the plant and prevent the plant from freezing overnight.

4. Harden off seedlings.

Before transplanting seedlings from the inside to the outside, get them used to the climate outside by exposing them gradually to outdoor conditions. This process is called “hardening off” and helps the plant grow stronger. Start doing this for 14 days before transplanting. Place them outside when the weather is mild and above 45ºF in a warm, shady spot. The place should also be protected from the wind. Bring them indoors at night.

5. Cover the soil with mulch.

Cover the soil about 2 to 4 inches deep with a nice layer of mulch around the base of shrubs, young trees, evergreens, or tender perennials. This will prevent them from frost damage since mulch isolates soil and holds in warmth.

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