How to Protect your Garden from the Cold

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Was anyone else cursing the weather this morning while you were scrapping your car windows?  I still can’t believe the weather Mother Nature is burdening us with in the middle of April.  Exactly a year ago it was above 18°C in Kitchener-Waterloo and we had a much different outlook when thinking about our gardens and what we were going to be doing after work.

 

I have had a few calls today from people looking for advice on how to protect their garden when dealing with colder temperatures.  Here are a few tips on how to protect your plants from the cold.

1. Bring your potted plants indoors.  The easiest and most convenient solution is to remove your plants from the harsh temperatures.  Bring any potted plants or hanging baskets inside your garage, greenhouse or home.  Make sure to place the plants that need sunlight near windows and avoid putting anything near vents as this can dry the plant out.

2. Water your Plants.  If you heavily water the soil around your plants before a cold night or day, the soil will trap the heat and evaporate slowly which warms the air around the plants.  Make sure not to water soil that is still frozen as this will only make conditions worse.

3. Apply a layer of Mulch.  Mulch is great because it acts as an insulator by holding in heat and moisture, it is perfect for protecting the root systems of your plants from the cold temperatures.  Insulation works both ways so you have to be careful because it prevents soil from cooling too quickly but it also can prevent it from warming up quickly.  One way to avoid this is to rake the mulch back a bit to ensure the heat reaches the soil.

4. Covering your Plants.  Another easy method is to simply throw an old blanket, tarp or cloth over your plants.  Once you have chosen which type of covering you are going to use, spread it out over the plants making sure it is not touching any leaves or branches.  You may need to use a few stakes to prop it up to ensure no damage is done to the plant.  This technique is used to protect against frost rather than temperature.

 

I hope this helps! Please comment below if you have any questions.

 

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