5 easy ways to help protect your plants from a spring frost
The beautiful British spring is here! Plants are growing again and the weather should be warming up. However, from many years of experience, we are all now well aware that the British weather can not be trusted and the threat of frost is always very real.
For many gardeners, spring offers one of the year’s greatest challenges: protecting tender young growth against the harsh cold snaps. In early spring, when the threat of frost is especially great, closely monitoring weather conditions via weather radio, TV, and/or websites for reports of expected cold spells is imperative. That way, when frost is predicted, you can prepare for it.
Below are 5 easy ways you can help to protect your garden from frost and reduce its impact on your vulnerable plants.
1) Cover plants before night fall – If you’re going to cover your plants up, then ensure this job is done before dusk. If you wait until after night fall, then most of the heat stored in the ground will have been lost. It doesn’t really matter what you cover your plants with, just make sure that it extends down to the soil on each side and you’re good. In the morning, once the frost has thawed, remove the covers.
2) Water before a frost – It may sound crazy, but watering around plants the night before a spring frost can actually protect them from freezing. During the night, the wet soil will release moisture into the air, which will raise the temperature and keep plants warmer.
3) Protect potted plants – Once again, this revolves around watching the forecast and being proactive with your frost damage prevention. If a frost is predicted, then bring those planters INSIDE. The roots of potted plants are more susceptible to frost than those planted in the ground and therefore need even more attention.
4) Place plants in frost resistant areas – The positioning of your plants is more important than you’d think when attempting to combat frost. Aim to keep seedlings away from frost pockets, usually found at lower levels and if possible plant near walls or fences for extra protection.
5) Choose cold hardy plants – Some plants and vegetables are hardy characters and will thrive despite the occasional cold weather. Crocuses often push their way through snow to bloom, and a spring storm rarely gives narcissus, tulips, grape hyacinths, or pansies any worry. Experts at your local nursery or garden centre are great sources of information about appropriate hardy plants. Most likely, native plants, particularly native perennials, will be the best choices.