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Dealing With Frost

What to do when the winter weather attacks

When it freezes, plants are likely to be damaged by the drastic temperature change. So, how do you protect your plants so that the frost does not hurt their leaves, stems, and roots?

Well, there are several options. If you have room, and your plants are in containers, you may bring them in the house, but beware of the difference in temperature, possible decrease in natural light, the drier air, and possible need for a bit more water than outside.

If you cannot bring your garden indoors, you can shelter it in several ways. Placing covers over plants, such as plastic bags (small ventilation holes needed!) and adding mulch to the top layer of soil around their base will help insulate them.

Another option is to create a tee-pee type of structure around them. Do this by placing a few dowels in a tee-pee shape over the plant, leaving it enough room to stand, and covering the dowels with fabric or chicken wire and mossy material. Any structure like this will insulate the plant and protect its leaves, stems, and hopefully roots, from freezing and dying.

A third option is to cover the plants and increase the air circulation around them, by adding a fan. Sometimes, vineyards will use larger fans to blow warmer air over their grapevines so that frost cannot settle on the plants. This option can get expensive, though!

Perhaps the best option is to prevent frost from settling on plants in the first place and, thus, prevent damage. Keep and eye on the weather and plan ahead to protect your plants!