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Freeze Warning

Tomorrow night we are supposed to get a hard freeze, and I want to go out and fling myself over the garden and yell "NOOOOOOO!" Everything is sprouted! Things have bloomed! The barrenwort flowered! I planted tender things!

Spring is unkind to the delicate nerves of the gardener.

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How many space heaters would it take to heat the outdoors?

I am very ignorant about gardening, so you've probably thought of this, but would some warm water and a tarp be of help at all?


Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Tarp+horse manure might work as well...

I'm not a gardener but I thought just some burlap over whatever you want to protect for the night would be enough. Frost tends to just get the tops of things.

You'd need smudge pots for things like large trees but around here they wrap the small trees in burlap.

How to Cover Plants for Frost Protection

Edited at 2015-03-28 12:21 am (UTC)

It depends on how cold it's going to be, but I extend my grown season every year by throwing a sheet or blanket or tarp over some of my plants when the first few fall frosts hit. It doesn't take much insulation to make a big difference, especially for those mild frosts.

I am going to rush home from work and start the work of covering all my delicate sprouts, flowers, and buds. I've got baby trees, vegetables, vines. They'd have been fine if they hadn't started to bud out.

I've had good luck running Christmas lights on our apple tree when it does the weird warm/hahahaha just kidding. Might try that for your baby trees.

Good idea. I use garden lights - not LED bulbs but proper ones that get warm - under the tree ferns and by the philodendron. With fleece over a frame, they work really well.

I bought curtain panels at Goodwill and wrapped them up.

I have gradually learned which things are most tender and which are not. Surprisingly asparagus is really tender. Weird given how early it comes up. So if big enough I just cut before a freeze. If not big enough I cover with spare pots because the warmth of the soil is enough to keep the air above freezing if there is any wind protection.

Many other things I just let nature sort it out. I did mulch my tulips that came up in January before the weeks of snow in February.

Even covered, my grapes are pretty badly damaged.

Nuts. I have next to zero experience with grapes so I have nothing useful to say other than big plants usually shrug it off even if they look a bit poorly right after the freeze.

Yeah, I'm not transplanting my fava beans until after Sunday, when it's supposed to get down in the mid-20s. I figure if I transplant on Monday, there's a whole week of comparatively mild weather for them to build up strength and cold tolerance, at the very least.

Didn't Robert Frost say "April is the cruelest month"?

Are you saying your barrenwort might become ... barren?


AZ is at the start of a heatwave. 94 today, expected 97 tomorrow. Maybe we can ship you some of that?

I once took an entire box

of plastic garbage bags and covered my plants. It worked!

We're still under a foot of snow up here in Boston. What is this concept you speak of, of "green growing things"? I remember a story about that once....

You got all our snow this year, sorry about that!

We got everybody's snow this year! I think Anchorage is the most irritated about it though!

23 right now, headed for 16 tonight, in my bit of Chicagoland. So, yeah. (Although my crocuses did actually do their thing.)

Boston, I feel your pain.

Upstate New York checking in, still a good 6-8 inches here and no warm days in the foreseeable future. I bought seeds and starter soil and peat pots yesterday, am hoping my one east/south room will be good for beginning growth. Nothing of mine is going outside until MAY. If I'm LUCKY.

Covering everything in plastic should work, but that would be a whole lot of plastic or garbage bags.

throw some old sheets over it all..

Yes indeedy! I have bundles of fleece protective stuff ready at strategic points in the garden, to fling over tender things at the threat of frost.

I could be wrong about this, but I heard that if one piles on quality mulch over the plants and covers said piles with plastic, it might protect them and keep unwanted "visitors" away from the garden.

Also might keep unwanted alternative fertilizer/watering system away from the garden, too (but, as I started the post, I could be wrong.)

It works a lot better with dormant plants! With plants that have already leafed out and are growing...well, that's how you kill weeds.

Now Denver gets to learn which plants are frost tolerant and which are not. After weeks of highs in the 60s and 70s the overnight low for Friday is predicted to be 26F. Lovely.

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