Why is Frost Protection Cloth is the best way to protect your cold-sensitive plants?
Properly applied frost cloth can protect your frost sensitive plants from the cold even when the temps dip into the 20’s!
Plants that Need Protection:
- Tropical Plants
- Cactus and Succulents
Not All Coverings Are Created Equal
Always use frost cloth designed for covering plants. This specific product is made of a fabric that will not transmit cold to the leaves. Other products made of plastic for example, can actually transmit cold to the leaves and cause more damage!
Green Acres carries only the best product from Easy Gardener, that comes in 10ft. x 12 ft. which is light and easy to handle. If necessary, the frost cloth can be left on the plants for an extended period of time without the risk of harming your plants. Sheets or blankets must be removed every morning after the temperature under the covering reaches at least 40 degrees. On some days this might not happen until Noon.
Some people use blankets and sheets to cover plants. Typically blankets are heavy and can be hard to secure over your plant. Furthermore, the frost cloth is light and allows the sun to pass through the fabric, thus warming the ground. Blankets and sheets do not allow the sun to properly filter through and heat the ground.
Knowing a Bit About the Environment Helps
Sunlight during the day warms the soil surface. As the day progresses into night, the heat from the soil radiates into the atmosphere. The coldest temperatures of the day are early in the morning as the sun rises. Remember that cold air settles downward and hot air rises. This fact is instrumental in placing your frost protection cloth over your frost-sensitive plants.
Watering Plus Frost Cloth Equals Success!
Keep soil around the plant moist but not soggy, especially during times of wind or days without rain. Moist soil absorbs more heat. Keep the moisture level as even as possible. Ice crystals form on the leaf surface and take moisture out of the leaves. Plants suffer and take on more frost damage if they are dehydrated. However, succulents are the exception to this rule. Make sure you check soil moisture during periods of cold north winds too. These winds tend to dry plants out the most.
If plant dehydration is your battle, try Wilt Stop Plant Protector.
- It is a natural, non-toxic product derived from the resin on pine trees
- It forms a soft, flexible, clear film on treated plants.
- This film protects plants from drying out, drought, windburn, sun scald and winter kill.
- Find it at all Green Acres Nursery & Supply locations.
Correctly Placing the Frost Cloth
You just bought the frost cloth and the forecast is for a very cold night with frost. How do you apply the fabric?
- Completely drape the plant from top all the way to the ground.
- Apply the cloth right before sun down to make sure the cloth gathers the heat produced in the ground during the day.
- Don't leave any openings in the cloth for the warm air to escape or cold air to enter at night.
- It is crucial that the frost cloth touches the ground, to the drip line of the plant.
Placing a heavy object, like bricks, or securing the fabric into the ground with frost fabric staples, will ensure that the cloth forms a seal with the ground and traps the warm air that radiates from the soil captured during the day. The bricks or staples will also secure the cloth on the plant in the case of heavy winds and or rain and reduces chances of it blowing off the plant.
Frost Cloth On Trees? Yes!
Remember, it is crucial that the frost cloth touch the ground to soak up radiant heat captured during the day. This is true of trees too. If you just wrap the top of the tree with frost cloth and leave the trunk exposed, much like a lollipop, the tree will not be able to trap the radiant heat from the ground. (See photo for the wrong way to apply it) Also, the cold night air will sink to the ground and the fabric will not be able to collect the heat or moisture to help the frost cloth protect the tree.
Following these simple instructions will help you keep your frost sensitive plants alive in the winter.
See a One-Minute Demo on Frost Cloth