I HOPE you enjoyed the beautiful autumn days that we have been having recently. The rain was very welcome. It certainly makes you feel more motivated to get out and enjoy your garden.
One thing you have to consider at this time of year is frost damage on young plants so you need to prepare before the frosts arrive. Once the damage is done it is hard for plants to recover. The most damage is done as the sun hits the plants covered in frost.
If you don’t mind an early start and are happy to hose off the frost you may be able to save some plants if you didn’t remember to cover them.
There are quite a few ways to protect your plants from being burnt by the frost.
If the plants are in pots and are easily moved this is the safest and best way to guarantee that your plants will not be affected by the frost.
Move them to a location where they are sheltered from frost and cold draughts.
Sometimes we get cold enough that it’s the temperature that is too much for the plant, so if you have particu- larly sensitive plants you need to keep them either in a hothouse, or perhaps inside if you’re able to bring them indoors for the winter.
Covering your plants for protection is another good option. Use a product like frost cloth. Cover the plant completely, preferably without it touching the foliage too much.
Don’t just cover the top or around the sides because the frost will come across the ground and up, but you also don’t want to leave the top exposed because this will allow the cold air to get into your covering and still impact the plant.
It may not look attractive, but neither does a frost burnt plant.
There are products on the market that you can spray on plants to help reduce frost damage also. It is not all bad news. Deciduous fruit trees benefit from winter chilling. Frost also helps break the cycle of some pests and diseases, so there are benefits to these frosty mornings as well.
ICY: Make sure to protect your vulnerable plants from frost this winter.