07 December 2009

Oh me oh my! It's freezing outside! Save your plants!

It is really cold, freezing in my opinion, here in the greater Sacramento, CA area.  It actually snowed in the weeee hours of this morning-YIPPEEE.  I am betting lots of kids were happy campers as they woke up to enough snow for a little snow ball fight.  The last time I remember seeing snow here was 1992 (I think).

Well as you know with this wonderfully fun time of year comes frost. Frost that likes to damage our outdoor plants. EEK! 

Depending on your climate, frost can form on your outdoor plants in fall, winter and spring. This frozen moisture can be devastating to not only young seedlings but well established plants, too. To protect plants from frost, you must take a proactive approach to keep the devastation from occurring. Definitely!

Here is some info on How to Protect Outdoor Plants from the yuck Frost:

Step 1
Spread two to three inches of shredded bark, leaves or straw around plants to help the soil maintain a warm temperature. Mulching plants is a great way to protect hardy plants and help control weeds at the same time.  (Keep in mind cats like bark so throw some moth balls in there too)

Step 2
Keep beds moist and free of weeds to head off frost damage in spring. The moisture helps heat rise from the soil on chilly nights and warms the plants.  This is interesting!

Step 3
Protect vines on walls with a removable shade. Measure a sheet of canvas or nylon netting large enough to cover the plants completely and attach it to a stake. Mount the stake on the wall with hooks and eyes and let the shade hang to the ground. Pull up the shade when it is warm and lower it in late afternoon to help conserve heat.  Sounds cost effective too!

Step 4
Drape an old shower curtain, tarp or unfolded newspapers over plants if an unexpected light frost catches you unprepared.  Now I know what to do with all of those papers! YES!

Step 5
Protect young spring sprouts in the vegetable garden with floating row covers. Simply lay lightweight fleece over the top of the plants before nightfall. Young leaves touching the fleece may sustain slight damage if the fabric freezes but row covers are effective against frost even if temperatures drop below the freezing mark.  Good idea. Home gardens are very popular these days.

Step 6
Run the sprinkler over tender plants all night when frost is predicted. Water gives off heat as it condenses to ice and will keep the plants warmer than the air.  Remember to first check your city guidelines on watering.

I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did.

Happy plant and garden protecting!

Your Realtor,