Needless to say, Winter is coming. Whether you’re a budding green thumb or a seasoned pro, knowing how to protect plants from frost can be a gamechanger.
Although what we class as “cold” can vary significantly depending on where you live in Australia, it’s fair to say that most of us have experienced frosts on those cold Winter (and even Autumn) mornings. If you are hoping to shelter and save your plants from a case of the chills, then preparation is key.
Eight Methods To Prepare For Frosts
By definition, a frost is the term we use to describe the thin layer of ice that forms when water vapour changes from a gas to a solid. This occurs when it is exposed to temperatures below the freezing point, and some veggies have even been known to taste better after surviving a frost.
In Australia, a frost is considered to be mild when it occurs at temperatures from 0°C to -3°C, and is referred to as a hard or severe frost at temperatures below -3°C. Many plants are known to be frost-sensitive, and are either damaged or die off completely when even a mild frost occurs – so as a gardening enthusiast, how do you protect plants from frost?
Plant Appropriately – Try as they may, there’s always a gardener that’s determined to cultivate a plant that’s just simply not suitable for their climate. Try to avoid future pain, and plant “smart” when it comes to what can tolerate your local weather conditions.
Move Them Inside – Although this may seem like the obvious choice, this is particularly relevant if you have potted plants that live on your terrace or verandah. Without the protective benefits of the earth, they are much more susceptible to root damage in colder temperatures.
Water In The PM – Moist soil has an insulating effect, which radiates heat upward come nightfall. Although it may defy logic on the surface, keeping soil damp actually helps to protect them from the cold.
Keep Them Healthy – Making sure your plants are well fed and healthy before winter arrives can make a big difference. Using a liquid plant food like Biotic Booster regularly can build strong root systems that can defend against frost damage.
Get Mulching – Straw, wood chips, old piles of leaves along with plenty of other mulches help to provide world class insulation to the root systems of your plants below ground – think of it like putting a knitted sweater over your garden.
Deploy Cloches – When using cloches to ward against frost, place them over your plants just before nightfall and uncover them in the morning so they can benefit from the warmth and energy of the sun. Bell shaped and made of plastic or class, there’s plenty of DIY options.
Wrap Your Trees – Younger trees between the ages of 1 to 4 years old, are much more sensitive to frost injury, and a cold snap can even herald the kiss of death. To protect trees from the cold, wrap their trunks with towels, blankets, cardboard, rags, or even pipe insulation.
Don’t Over Prune – Avoid pruning until the very last frost for the season has rolled through. Over pruning can leave plants vulnerable with increased sap flow, and what can encourage new growth can also be easy pickings for potential frost damage.
How To Help Your Plants Through Winter
Once you’ve started to protect plants from frost and finished introducing any new leafy friends to your garden, the next step is to pay attention to what third party materials that you introduce to your ecosystem. If you’ve been on the hunt for a healthy way to spray, then the good news is that Bioweed may be just the solution that you’ve been looking for.
Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife.
The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.