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Protecting Plants from Cold Weather

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Photo of a frozen rose bush.
There are many plants and vegetables that can weather some chill with protection. This guide is about protecting plants from cold weather.
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November 13, 20070 found this helpful

Some plants in your area will be a tender perennial which means they may or may not make it through a severe cold snap, or you may have plants you want to protect from the cold. To protect such plants better, when weather gets cooler in the fall time of year, put a mound of builders sand or other sand around the plant, then mulch heavily over the sand and water well. This will protect the plant over the winter.

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In the spring when warm weather arrives, remove the sand and mulch. Put new mulch around the plant leaving space around the trunk of the plant for plenty of air ventilation, this will keep your plant from becoming so thirsty in hot weather and the mulch will decompose into good nutrients for your soil.

By Linda from Fort Walton Beach, FL

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Questions

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January 29, 20120 found this helpful

How do I protect my plants that are coming up because of the unusably warm weather we have been having in Jefferson County, West Virginia?

By Karen

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

People here in South Dakota are having the same problem. I have no idea what they are doing. I do know I heard some comments about if it snowed, before getting cold the plants would be OK. We did get four inches of snow, but I don't know if it got cold first. I don't pay that much attention to the weather, just get cranky when we get winter weather. lol We have even had some trees that were budding out a couple weeks ago.

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Now this week it is supposed to get up to the forties, maybe fifties again. It has been a real strange winter. If you are talking about low growing plants, you could take old blankets and cover them. If you are talking about actual trees, I don't think there is much you can do.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the trees that have started budding out here. A couple weeks ago, I heard reports of day lilies coming up, lilac trees budding, etc.

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

You put them in a shade and give them plenty of water and keep on checking on them.

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

The main thing is to protect them from frost. Keep an eye on the weather report for frost warnings in your area, or cover them at night just for safety. For single plants you could mound them over with soil, or cut the bottom off of plastic bottles and use them like a cloche. For beds of plants you can buy rolls of special garden fleece, spread hay, or even cover them with old bedsheets.

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October 26, 20110 found this helpful

I am new to growing vegetables and fruit. I started a small garden with peppers and tomatoes in April. They have produced some tomatoes and are still producing peppers. My question is what do I do now that the cold weather is coming and my peppers are still producing? The garden is in a planter and is open on three sides. I have added mulch, but do I need to cover the plants with a towel or bag? Any suggestions?

By Casey P.

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October 26, 20110 found this helpful

If it only gets cold at night keep completly covering the plants as long as you want to. You can't keep them covered in the daytime because they do need light. But eventually you will have to give them up. I imagine if you have a really sunny window that gets full sunlight almost all day, you could bring them inside and see how they do.

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