Upcoming hard freeze…what to do?
Jan 5, 2010
We will be experiencing a harder than usual sustained freeze here in DFW tomorrow. Thursday night we're looking at around 15F or lower and 18F Saturday (but could be as low as 14F both nights, depending on the weather channel of choice). Temps are not predicted to rise above freezing during the day. Now, with all the freezes in the 20's we've been having (last night about 25F), you may have already experienced a good bit of damage or loss on tender perennials, annuals and some veggies. Here are a few things you should do today or tomorrow to protect your babies!
1. Water thoroughly today! plants can resist freezing temperatures
much better when they are fully turgid. Water stressed plants will take a hard
hit. Consider watering herbaceous plants and vegetables with SUPERthrive, a
vitamin/hormone supplement for plants.
all newly planted annuals, perennials or small shrubs using frost cloth. Cover
any tender perennials or cool season vegetable crops, such as broccoli,
cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce to keep from losing your harvest. While hardy
plants and cool season vegetables will typically survive a 15 degree frost, the
flower buds and fruit will most often be hardest hit. Cauliflower heads are
especially sensitive to freezing temperatures.
3. A sheet
of frost cloth will provide about up to 8 degrees of temperature protection.
You can layer two sheets to give you extra protection. Purchase landscape
staples to help secure the frost cloth in place.
4. Do not
use plastic to cover plants. Areas of the plant that come in contact with
plastic during a freeze often suffer damage. It's also better to leave some air
space above the plant as insulation, rather than pinning the frost cloth
tightly down on top of the plants.
leaves or hay can also be used as a cover to insulate more hardy herbaceous
6. You may leave frost cloth on plants for two or three days if freezing temperatures persist, but it's best to at least pull it back to allow enough sunlight to reach plants if warmer temperatures allow for it.
Don't forget to drip and cover all those outdoor faucets too!!