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Frost Freeze Advisory

What to do when a Frost/Freeze Advisory has been issued.

Cover or move plants indoors to protect them from the frost / freezing temps.  

What can I use to cover my plants? 

Old blankets, old bedsheets, pillowcases, drop cloths, frost cloth, buckets, plastic pots, large plastic bottles
with the bottoms removed, baskets, layers of newspaper, row covers or cardboard can be used.
*** Plastic sheeting should be used as a last resort covering.
Be sure to use stakes under the plastic to keep it from touching the plants.
The frost can burn the plant through the plastic.

What plants need to be covered?

Tender vegetable plants
Shrubs with buds / blooms
Hanging baskets
Plants purchased recently from a greenhouse
Small trees with buds

A few more important tips...

When possible, plants in containers can be moved into a garage or shed.

When covering plants be sure that the cover extends to the ground to hold in moisture and ground heat.
Weights such as bricks or rocks can be added to secure the cover, preventing it from falling or blowing off.

Water the soil around the plants in the afternoon (when temps are warmer) before covering, moist soil can hold heat better than dry soil. (Avoid watering the leaves of the plants, as they could freeze). Mulch after watering offers an extra layer of insulation to protect roots.

Stakes, wire hangers or tomato cages can be placed over plants to support covers to keep from damaging or breaking the plants. Oversized clips or clothes pins will work great to hold the covering together.

All covering materials should be removed when the sun comes up and temperatures begin to rise.