Frost and freezing water are detrimental to plants. The most important thing you can do to protect your plants from frost and water is to grow plants that are frost-hardy. Know whether your plants can withstand either light frost or hard killing frost. You should stop fertilizing your plants in early September to prevent them from growing new foliage when cold temperatures begin. Water your plants thoroughly in the evening. In addition, you can protect your plants from damaging frost and water by building "tents" to cover them at night and during harsh, freezing weather conditions.
Protecting Container-Grown Plants
Move container-grown plants indoors at night or when hard frost threatens. You can also move them into a shed or garage to protect them from frost.
Wrap the containers in bubble wrap or burlap if you can't move them to a protected, covered spot or inside. Another option is to bury the pot into the ground.
Cover the plant with a tent of plastic or a blanket. Prop the plastic sheet or blanket up using garden stakes inserted into the pot around the plant. Uncover the plants during the daytime.
Protecting Individual Plants in the Ground
Insert stakes or PVC pipes into the ground around your plants. The supports should be 1 to 2 inches taller than the plants.
Create a tent using plastic sheeting or blankets. The edges should be weighted down around the ground using rocks or landscaping pavers.
Remove the plastic sheeting or blankets every morning to prevent overheating. If your area is experiencing freezing temperatures during the day, uncover a few small openings on the sides of the plastic or blanket tenting to allow some heat to escape.
Protecting Plant Beds
Construct a wire frame from a roll of chicken wire or other wire fencing material to protect low-growing plant beds. At either end of the plant bed, attach the wire frame to garden stakes driven into the ground.
Curve the wire fencing over the top of the bed to create a long tunnel. Cover the wire frame with 6 mm plastic sheeting.
Weight down the plastic sheeting around the ground with rocks or landscaping pavers. Secure the ends of the plastic sheeting with clothespins.
Uncover the top of the plant bed during the day. If temperatures are still freezing during the daytime, simply remove the clothespins on either end of the bed to allow for some air circulation.
About this Author
Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.