02 Nov 5 QUICK COLD WEATHER HACKS TO KEEP YOUR GARDEN SAFE
Gardeners who live in the colder climates generally know that their gardens will be totally put to rest over the winter, safe under thick layers of snow. But gardeners in the more mild climates have a trickier challenge — protecting their plants from unexpected cold snaps, frosts, and freezes. These gardeners expect some cold weather from time to time, but as a rule, tend to have plants in their gardens that will need a little extra protection to survive.
So, of course, the first step is to keep an eye on the weather forecast and to be prepared to do what’s necessary in a short period of time. This means thinking things through beforehand — the night you’re expecting a freeze is not the time to start figuring it out. Trust me, I’ve been there — trudging around in heavy coats with headlamps on while looking for your freezecloths is not fun. So follow our quick cold weather hacks to keep your garden safe!
5 Winter Hacks to Keep Your Garden Safe
See Also: PREPPING GARDEN BEDS FOR COLD WEATHER
1. Know your hardiness zones. Every plant has their own threshold for hardiness, and we track it by assigning a hardiness zone to it. This will tell you at what temperature a particular plant will suffer damage — for some it’s just 40 degrees, while others do fine in a short hard freeze. This will keep you efficient by protecting only the plants that need it.
2. Cover up. Use freezecloth (available at garden centers and home improvement stores), old sheets, or even blankets. I use clothespins to keep them secured, because sometimes when it’s cold, it’s also windy. For plants that may need additional insulation, I put some rebar or tall garden stakes in the ground at the base of the plant, then wrap it completely with burlap. Have any straw or hay on hand? Put that into the little tent you’ve just created, in between the plant and the burlap, and you’ve got yourself a cozy set-up that should do the trick.
3. Lightly water. The night before an expected frost or freeze is the perfect time to give your plants a bit of water, which acts as an insulation. I don’t do this with every plant, just the ones that need it. My evergreen shrubs are fine on their own, but my tropicals and annuals appreciate that extra love.
4. Cluster your pots. Have potted plants? Cluster them up together, preferably against your house, and throw a freezecloth or sheet over them. This creates a buddy system so your pots huddle together for extra warmth.
5. Add lights. If we’re expecting a really hard freeze, I not only cover up my tropicals but I add strings of Christmas tree lights underneath. This offers my tender plants a bit of extra warmth, and it goes a long way.