Freeze Warning: Time to Cover!
This cold spell that is hurtling toward us is the real deal and true gardeners aren’t taking it lightly.
It’s time to cover vulnerable plants!
• Cover winter annuals such as pansies, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale, pinks and many more.
• Cover shrubs listed as “hardy” to one USDA Zone south of you. That would be one Zone number greater than where you live. For example, I live in Zone 7. Any Zone 8 plant that I’m growing must be covered Thursday night and on into the weekend.
• Lightweight frost cloth from the nursery, hardware store or feed store is your very best option. It’s white and it’s porous. It allows water and air flow through it, but it traps warmth from the soil while it’s also blocking the cold north wind.
• Cover your plants and secure the frost cloth to the ground with bricks or river rock. Be sure it’s well anchored so the wind can’t lift it and blow it away.
• You can leave frost cloth in place as long as it’s needed. I have left several large plantings covered for as long as 10 weeks without any damage whatsoever.
• Burlap and old bed sheets are distant second choices. Polyethylene plastic is not good. It tends to heat up too quickly on cold, sunny mornings. That can cause more damage than the cold alone would ever have done.