Covering plants – The most
popular way to guard against frost is with the use of some type of covering.
Most anything will work, but old blankets, sheets, and even burlap sacks are
best. When covering plants, drape them loosely and secure with stakes,
rocks, or bricks. The lighter covers can simply be placed directly over the
plants, but heavier covers may require some type of support, such as wire,
to prevent the plants from becoming crushed under the weight. Covering
tender garden plants in the evening will help retain heat and protect them
If freezes are forecast for several nights in a row, plants can stay covered
with blankets or sheets for days without harm. But eventually the covers
will need to be removed so the plants can get light.
Watering plants – If you water your plants 1 or 2 days before the
frost will help, Wet soil will hold more heat. However if the temp drops
under 32 for many days with no break this will not help. This is only good
if the temp dips to frost for a few hours, and then higher temps in the day.
Mulching plants – Some people prefer to mulch their garden plants.
This is fine for some; however, not all tender plants will tolerate heavy
mulching; therefore, these may require covering instead. Popular mulching
materials that can be used include straw, pine needles, bark, and loosely
piled leaves. Mulch helps to lock in moisture and during cold weather, holds
in heat. When using mulch, try to keep the depth at about two to three
Cold frames for plants – Some tender plants actually require
over-wintering in a cold frame or indoors. Cold frames can be purchased at
most garden centers or built easily at home. Wood, cinder blocks, or bricks
can be used for the sides and old storm windows can be implemented as the
top. For those needing a quick, temporary frame, simply incorporate the use
of baled hay or straw. Stack these around your tender plants and apply an
old window to the
Raised planters – a garden with that is raised a few inches from
ground level are safer in frost weather, since cold air tends to collect in
sunken areas rather then high mounded areas and raised beds are much easier