How to Cover Tomato Plants With Sheets for a Frost


Although grown as an annual in gardens across the United States, tomatoes are tender, warm-season perennials that require protection from frost. In southern gardens, tomatoes may ripen fully on the vine before cold weather returns, but in northern climates, green tomatoes may linger well into the fall. To extend the growing season and provide tomatoes an opportunity to ripen on the vine, many gardeners cover tomato plants with blankets or sheets when frost threatens in the fall.

Step 1

Spread the sheets to cover all areas of foliage. Edges of leaves or tips of stems exposed to the air risk damage from frost.

Step 2

Anchor edges of the sheet with rocks or sticks to prevent winds from uncovering the plants or exposing tender foliage.

Step 3

Remove sheets in the morning once the sun has risen and temperature climbs to allow the sun to shine on the tomato plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheets
  • Rocks/sticks


  • Rutgers: If Planets Could Talk: Planting and Protecting Warm Season Crops
  • Cornell University Extension: Understanding Frost
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes

Who Can Help

  • NC State University Extension: Growing Tomatoes for Home Use
  • Cornell University: Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Tomatoes
Keywords: cover tomato plants, cover tomatoes with sheets, protect from frost

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.