How To Protect Your Garden From Freezing Temperatures

protect your garden

It pays to prepare your garden for the harsh winter months ahead of time. The truth is that cold temperatures and frosts may hurt, if not kill, plants and crops. Seedlings, fresh transplants, and newly planted plants are especially sensitive to cold weather, particularly strong freezes. However, as long as you prepare your garden properly, the plants within it should be able to withstand the winter cold. But, before we get there, let’s speak about the hard freeze issues that cause major winter damage to crops and plants:

At What Temperature Do Plants Freeze? 

When the cold weather arrives, your first thinking will be: at what temperature do plants freeze, or how cold is too cold? There is no simple solution to this. At different temperatures, different plants freeze and die. That is why they are rated for toughness. Some plants create particular hormones that prevent them from freezing, and these plants have a lower hardiness rating (indicating they can withstand colder temperatures) than plants that produce less of this hormone. Having stated that, there are several meanings of survival. During a frost, a plant may lose all of its leaves, yet some can recover from the stems or even the roots. As a result, while the leaves cannot withstand a particular temperature, other parts of the plant can.

Choose Cold-Hardy Plants

Some veggies and flowers have resilient spirits and grow despite (or sometimes because of) the cold. These plants are referred to be “hardy” because they can withstand short-term cold temperatures. Plants that are destroyed or seriously harmed by cold conditions, on the other hand, are referred to be “sensitive.”

Crocuses frequently fight their way through the snow to blossom, and narcissus, tulips, grape hyacinths, and pansies are unfazed by a spring storm. There is also a broad variety of delectable frost-resistant foods, such as:

  • Calendula (pot marigold)
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Chives
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

Experts at your local nursery are great places to learn about hardy plants for your zone. Native plants, especially native perennials, are thought to be the best alternatives.

Place Plants in Frost-Resistant Spots

Location, location, location is as true for plants as it is for real estate. Plant seedlings and store-bought spring plants in regions where the cold is less likely to be detrimental.

Plants on high land or slopes will be passed by when cold air travels to lower ground. As a result, seedlings and other frost-sensitive plants should be planted in these high areas.

Plants near benches, fences, and walls, especially those facing south or west, can give extra protection, especially if the buildings are dark in color. The structures absorb heat during the day. They transmit that heat throughout the night, keeping plants warmer than they would be otherwise.

Harden Off Seedlings

Acclimate seedlings to the outside before planting them by progressively exposing them to outdoor circumstances. This technique, known as hardening off, can assist you in growing stronger plants that are more likely to weather the ups and downs of early spring.

Start hardening off around 14 days before transplanting. Place the seedlings outside throughout the day in a warm, shaded, wind-protected location when the weather is pleasant and above 45°F. Bring them inside at night.

After two weeks, the seedlings will have grown into stronger, sturdier plants that are suitable for transplantation.

Cover Plants Before Nightfall

If you’re going to cover your plants before a strong frost, make sure you do so before dark. Most of the heat stored in your garden will have evaporated by the time it becomes dark.

Whatever sort of cover you use, make sure it goes all the way down to the soil on both sides. Make sure there are no gaps where heat may escape. If possible, use stakes to avoid items, particularly plastic, from contacting the vegetation. However, do not attach or collect your cover to the trunk, since this will prevent heat from rising up from the soil from reaching the plant. (For correct covering, see the figure below.)

Remove the covers in the morning, once the frost has melted. Failure to do so may force the plant to break dormancy and resume active growth, making it much more vulnerable to frost damage in the future.

Cover Plants for Frost Protection

When the temperature drops low enough to freeze the moisture on plants’ leaves and buds, frost regularly threatens them overnight. Cover plants to prevent moisture from freezing to protect them from frost. While an unexpected frost may cause many gardeners to scramble for anything to cover their sensitive plants, it is critical to utilize the proper materials. Metal Buildings and metal sheds are best for greenhouse sheds. Try to use Metal buildings as your farm building. 

A cloth covering is preferable since it allows moisture to escape while protecting your plants from cold. Fabric covers will keep the frigid air from coming into direct contact with the plant’s wetness while also trapping heat that is flowing from the ground. Large plants and bushes are best covered with bed linens or comforters. Although newspaper may be used on low-growing greenery, it might be difficult to keep it in place. I’ve made do with old pillows, sheets, towels, and even cardboard boxes. Simply make certain that whatever you choose to cover your plant reaches the ground and traps the warm air inside the canopy.

Plastic can be utilized, but it is crucial to remember that it should not come into contact with your plants. Plastic that comes into contact with your plants can frequently be worse than no protection since it can trap moisture against plant tissues, causing more extensive frost damage. Many gardeners may place tall pillars or forms around frost-sensitive plants so that they can throw their covers over the plants and secure them without worrying about the coverings blowing away or injuring the branches in the night. You may cover a structure like this with plastic as long as it does not come into contact with the plant.

Kylo Walter

Kylo writes for topics like Home Improvement, Kitchen decor, Garden, or travel-related topics additionally; he has had a passion for the metal building industry for more than ten years, Kylo has become an experienced building specialist in this industry. His goal is to help people with his vast knowledge to assist them with his best suggestions about different metal buildings such as metal carports, metal garages, barns, utility buildings, and commercial structures.