A fact that potted plants are prone to root damage during sudden frost than in-ground plants because they get no benefit from the earth’s insulating power.
That is why you should pay extra attention to them when a frost is in the forecast. In this article today, we’re talking about how to protect potted plants from sudden frost.
Wrap Your Plants
The very first thing you can do is find something to wrap and cover your plants, protecting them from frost. There are lots of options to consider:
Frost blankets, when wrapped around your plants, will work as an insulating barrier. They keep heat from soil from escaping as well as hold it near the plants whilst excluding cold air.
The biggest strength of this type of covering is its lightweight woven materials that allow sunlight to penetrate, meaning that you don’t have to remove it during the day.
The only thing you need to do is frequently checking your plants whether they’re overheating or not.
Take note that they come in a wide range of thicknesses. As a basic rule of thumb, the thicker the frost blanket, the higher the protection to your plants.
Thick frost blankets protect plants down to 24 degrees F while thinner ones are down to 28 degrees F.
Old Sheets And Pillowcases
If you don’t have frost blankets at hand, old sheets and pillowcases are a great alternative, especially for tender plants.
Old pillowcases are best to slip over tomato cages since they create an insulating air pocket around the plants. For extra protection, add an old towel or blanket.
With old sheets, keep them up and away from the foliage by using hoops or stakes. When covering the sheet over your plants, make sure all the edges are in contact with the ground, then, secure them carefully using bricks, stones, or any heavy things.
It should create a close insulating pocket around the plants.
Before dusk ends, cover your plants thoroughly and in the morning, remove them so your plants won’t be overheating.
For tender seedlings, the best solution to keep them from sudden frost is putting a large container over them. Such as cloches, garbage cans, storage totes, pots, or buckets.
If the weather has strong gusts, secure it using bricks or rocks.
Cover your seedlings before the sun goes down, and remove them the next day once the temperature rises above freezing.
Bring Them Inside
If there is still extra space in your house or your potted garden is on a small scale, bringing them inside is the fastest.
Beforehand, you should find an appropriate place in your house where it’s not too cold or warm since sudden changes in temperature might make them shocked.
If you have an indoor garden, make sure to place these pots far away to prevent any potential spread of insects.
Check if your potted plants have any disease or pests. Try another solution if your potted plants seem to have pests or symptoms of a disease. On the contrary, the basement shed, and the garage are some ideal places for them.
During sudden frost, bring them indoors when the sun goes down and outdoors when it’s sunny.
As stated, potted plants don’t benefit from the earth’s insulating power so, when sudden frost is in the forecast, adding heat is one of the most efficient ways to protect them from freezing.
Buy a string of non-LED lights or take advantage of your rope party bulbs/Christmas lights, then hang them along the arch under the covering.
Non-LED lights are a good source of heat to warm up your plants. Do not opt for LED ones because they’re overheating-resistant, which is not suitable for this purpose of use. Another feature you should keep in mind when choosing lights is cold tolerance.
Make sure that they can work well in frost-bite cold conditions without breaking down or flickering.
Remember not to allow those lights to be in contact with the covering fabric and your plants.
After wrapping your plants, fill a container or an empty milk jug with hot water and add it underneath the protective covering. This will act as a heat source for the potted plants. But make sure that it’s not overheating inside.
Use A Large Fan
Pulling the cold air up and away is another great solution to keep your potted plants from freezing during sudden frost. It can boost the temperature in the garden up to 7 degrees F, according to our testing.
And this is popularly applied in small- to medium-scaled agriculture by lots of home gardeners.
Use a large fan in a chimney, an electric fan (only recommended on still, no-rain nights), or some drones with low-flying settings to fly over your garden.
If you choose to use a fan, find a good place for it. The fan should be put several feet from the ground to capably pull warm air downward and cold air upward. Besides, it should move warm air over each plant in your garden.
Don’t place the fan (especially an electric one) overnight. Store it in a sheltered place when possible.
Above is our guide on how to protect potted plants from sudden frost. Aside from those pieces of information, you should remember to water your plants in the afternoon or at the warmest moments during the day.
Learn more about what to do after a frost and how to make your plants a more cold-tolerant garden. That’s all for this post. Thanks for reading!