Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - WITH MANDI

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.

Happy gar­den­ing.

ICY: Make sure to pro­tect your vul­ner­a­ble plants from frost this win­ter.

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