Question: My pansies look terrible. It’s freezing outside, and the plants look like they will be reduced to stewed foliage when they finally thaw. What could I have done to protect them?

Answer: First, don’t be too concerned just yet. Pansies will always look bad when temperatures are below freezing. The good news is that they usually come back just fine once they thaw out. They’ll do their very best if you water them just before really cold weather blows in, and if you mulch them to moderate the soil’s rate of freezing and thawing. You can really protect them if you’ll lay one of the lightweight frost cloth covers over the plants just before it turns cold. If the cold will be accompanied by ice or snow that could weight the cover down, rig up some type of props to keep the cloth off the plants. For what it’s worth, snow is a good insulator.