Colder temperatures are here! That means it’s time to start thinking about protecting those beautiful seasonal plants from the elements. Frost can be detrimental to plants and their health. Preserve your mums, cabbage, and kale, as well as your fall annuals, by protecting them from the cold. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your plants thriving this fall. 

Why is frost a problem?

Frost hurts plants by harming their tissues. When temperatures drop, ice crystals can form in plant cells and make water unavailable to plant tissues. Leaves that have been damaged by frost appear soaked, then shrivel up and become brown or black in color. It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t even have to frost for plants to be damaged, it just has to be cold enough for the plant’s cells to freeze. Make sure to research the temperatures your particular plants can withstand. Also, plant leaves lose heat much more quickly than their surroundings, which is why protection is always a good idea. 

What can I do to protect my plants from frost?

The best way to save your plants from colder temperatures is to cover them. Foam covers, sheets, and tarps are all great options to protect plants. It’s important to note that plastic is not the best choice for plant coverings, as it is usually too thin to prevent damage from the cold. Before covering, water the soil thoroughly, as wet soil is better at holding heat than dry soil. Make sure that your coverings reach the ground so the warm air will stay trapped under the canopy and protect the plants. If you choose to use a plastic covering, it’s important that the plastic does not touch the plant, as the plastic can hold moisture against plant tissues and cause serious damage. Remember to remove the covering the next day, so that plants can be exposed to the warmer temperatures and sunlight. 

We all want to have a great autumn season, but we have to be aware of the risks to our garden. Installing coverings during cold weather goes a long way in maintaining the health of your seasonal plants. Protection is one of the ways you can cultivate a beautiful outdoor living space even when the temperatures drop. Click here for information on how to care for your garden during each season, and stop by Lurvey Home & Garden to get everything you need for a seasonal garden to last until winter.