Thursday, April 8, 2010

Protecting the Garden from Frost

Last night saw frost coming to the Celtic Ozark Garden. So, protecting the garden from frost was my top priority last night. We hit 35 degrees. That is certainly not freezing, for which I am grateful. However, it is cold enough to create frost in low lying areas (like gardens.) The temperature is not as critical as the frost setting in on the plants.

My plan includes watering, covering, and moving plants from the garden. I like to water the garden in the late afternoon, so the water helps to protect the plants. That was a good option yesterday, because it was nice and cool, and sunny. That gave leaves time to be dry, but roots wet.

Then, i covered everything vulnerable with a sheet. I keep old sheets around for just such an emergency (as Foghorn Leghorn used to say). The sheets are light enough to not damage the plants, but strong enough to keep the frost from settling on my plants, and burning them. Today, I will remove the sheets, so the plants can get sun again. Unfortunately, I will cover them again tonight, as we have one more night of cold air coming to the Ozarks.

Finally, I move everything in doors that is still in pots. I have many seedlings in small containers, that have been taking advantage of the warm weather we have had for two weeks. Those little squashes, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. get to sleep in the house.

With a little planning, you can protect your spring garden, and also your budding summer garden to be. The average last frost date in Missouri is around April 15th. WE have recorded frost dates to the end of the month in history. This time of year, you just have to pay attention to the temperature and weather.

We'll talk again soon,

Ray Province
Celtic Ozark Garden

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