If you’re anything like us, you’re out in the garden as soon as the days are warm and the ground is dried out a little. Unfortunately, spring can be fickle, and just your first bulbs poke out from the ground, an unexpectedly frosty night can end their season early. Err on the side of caution by taking a few minutes to protect plants from cold damage with these easy tips:
- Any materials around the house will do. Buckets, plastic plant pots, blankets, bed sheets, kitty litter boxes… If it covers your plants, you can use it to protect them from frost. Use something heavy to weigh down lightweight covers so they don’t blow away. If you’re using blankets or pieces of cloth, cover plants lightly and use weights along the bottom edges to keep corners from flapping in the wind.
- Follow the 8 to 8 rule. The critical period for frost is 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the following morning. As long as you’ve covered susceptible plants between those times, frost damage is unlikely. Expecting a few consecutive chilly nights? Uncover plants during the sunny daytime hours anyway so they’re still getting the light they need.
- Check frost dates. Do you know when the average last frost happens in your area? Do a little research online to figure it out, and avoid planting anything new in your garden before that date.
- Plant hardy varieties. Can’t wait to spruce up the garden and get planting? Choose a frost-tolerant plant, like flowering cabbage, pansy, snapdragon or viola.
If your March is still a little too cold for growing just yet, you can still get back into the garden by prepping your beds for the season with Garden Safe® Brand Weed & Grass Killer. Use it to clear your planting spots of weeds, grass and last year’s annuals. Wait until a sunny day to spray and be careful not to spray the grass or perennials you want to keep (cover desirable vegetation with a piece of plastic to be safe). You can plant ornamental flowers, trees and shrubs just five days after spraying.