Saturday, May 16, 2009

Frosty Nights

The average frost free date is May 15, but as we all know nothing about our weather is ever average. The plants that are most susceptible to damage are those crops that were grown in a greenhouse and are now outside. The partial list includes tomatoes, peppers, impatiens, geraniums, etc. Perennials (those plants that come back year after year) which are in your garden may get nipped by frost, but should recover in a few weeks.

With the threat of frost loaming tonight here are some tips for protecting your plants:
Cover early in the evening to trap in the heat.
Use bed sheets or other fabric coverings - plastic does not trap the heat in so avoid using it.
Cardboard boxes work well for protection.
Tent the fabric over the plants. Don't just throw it on top of plants.
Weigh the fabric down so it does not blow off during the night.
Hanging baskets should be brought indoors.
Planters that can easily be moved can also be brought indoors.
Don't uncover until the temps are close to 40 degrees in the morning.
Plants that are nipped by frost should be given a few days to recover and only then removed and replanted if they don't look like they are going to grow.
Fertilize in a week or so to help give the plants the energy to regrow.

Make your day a good one.

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