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Protect Plants Against Cold Weather Damage

14th February

Winter is upon us! This means that our gardens will soon be greeted with frost if they haven’t done so already. However, the good news is that as each day goes by we’re one step closer to getting back out into the garden and being able to grow all sorts of varieties of plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Early Season Gardening

The status quo is to ideally start your gardening season in spring but those of you who are a little more eager to get back into the garden sooner will probably still have things growing away.

Maybe you’ve sown seeds in autumn for overwintering…

Or you’re plotting to get back out there at the first chance you get.

Whatever route you have chosen to take, it’s important to be aware of the effects of frost damage during the winter weather.

Planting fruits and vegetables a little earlier has a great advantage of a longer growing season. However, if you want your plants to grow to their full potential, you have to do so with care and caution. Especially when it comes to protecting your young plants from very low temperatures.

Effects of Cold Weather

Low temperatures cause colder air temperatures and colder soil temperatures. In locations such as the UK, this can be highly detrimental when there are consistently uncertain weather conditions.

Frost and cold weather come and goes… what’s the big deal?

While some people may think that once the cold weather has gone, their plants will revive and take back their healthy form, that certainly isn’t the case.

Plant cells are actually damaged worst when temperatures drastically fluctuate, which as highlighted before can be a major issue for locations like the UK where the weather can be unpredictable throughout the day, let alone throughout the season. The repeated freezing and thawing of plants has the effect of destroying cells and in turn, preventing further growth.

Protection against cold weather

While you can’t completely control the conditions in your garden or greenhouse, there are steps you can take to protect your plants from frost. Here are 5 methods to protect your plants and soil against frost:

Plant blankets:  You can buy these from any garden centre or online. Very effective but expensive when you have a lot of plants.

Choose hardy plants: This is your first line of defence. Read the back of seed packets and only choose plants that are suited to this time of year.

Avoid frost pockets: Frost tends to gather in sunken areas so avoid these like the plague. Could be worth using raised beds where possible.

Water soil: Wet soil is more resistant to frost than dry soil so water it one or two days before frost is forecast.

Cover with an upside bucket: Or anything else for that matter. You can be a bit creative with alternatives to plant blankets.

 

For more advice on growing in the colder seasons, read the articles below:

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