Hard Frost Protection
You can give tender plants some hard frost protection by covering garden beds with sheets of plastic or tarps that trap the heat radiated by the earth. Fasten covers over the canopies of shrubs with clothespins or spring clips to add a measure of protection.
When temperatures fall below 28° Fahrenheit for a few hours. Tender plants may very well be killed by a hard frost, although more cold-hardy plants may only sustain foliage damage at these temperatures - for more information see also light frost and freeze ...
Hard frosts are an organic gardeners best friend. They help condition soil by freezing the moisture within large clods and splitting them apart, but the most important benefit of freezing temperatures is their ability to stop pest outbreaks in their tracks.
A hard frost kills adult fleas in a lawn, but it does not kill flea eggs or flea pupae safe inside of their cocoons. When the temperature is right, eggs… Read More
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The first hard frost of fall doesn't have to mean the end of gardening. Check out these greenhouses and get ideas for extending your plant-growing season.
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1. Before ~s begin, hoe soil over beets, carrots, and other root crops to protect any exposed shoulders, but keep the green leaves uncovered to let the plants continue to grow and sweeten.
Harvest after a ~ or in early spring before new growth starts. To harvest in spring, place a 3- to 5-inch soil mulch over the parsnips. Parsnips are not poisonous if harvested in early spring.
Harvest when the pods are fully developed and still tender, and before seeds develop fully.
After fall's first ~, you should cut back the entire plant to the ground. Some gardeners have a difficult time cutting their plants back so drastically. Don't worry though; you will have beautiful plants again in the spring.
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To protect roses using soil, after the first ~ mound soil around the base of the canes. To reduce wind whipping, either tie the canes together or cut the canes to a manageable length and mound soil 8 to 10 inches around the canes.
For a late fall harvest, plant seeds according to the date predicted for the first ~, which in most locations means 25 degrees or lower. In many areas of the country, this frost may occur in early November, while higher altitudes may get an earlier frost.
Plant crocus corms in fall, six to eight weeks before a ~ is expected and when soils are below 60 degrees F. This is usually during September and October in the North, and October and November in the South.
To get started, punch holes in the tops and bottoms of your containers, fill them with moistened seed starting mix, and sow your seeds after there are several ~s. If you don't wait until temperatures drop, your seeds will sprout too soon and won't make it through the winter.
Dahlias are tender plants, so in areas prone to ~s, it's advisable to dig up the plants and overwinter them in a dry, cool spot. Do this after the foliage has been blackened by frost in the autumn.
We waited until the last predicted ~ (crossing fingers that there won't be any more) before transplanting them outdoors. Before transplanting them, we hardened them off for several days, letting them adapt to life in the ‘real world' with wind, rain, and sunshine.
After your plants have been killed back by ~, cut them back to the ground and provide a light airy mulch of evergreen branches or similar material. The most dangerous hazards for Chrysanthemums in the winter are constant wetness or ice on the leaves.
Day-neutral strawberries will continue to set and ripen fruit all summer long until a ~ puts them into dormancy. Day-neutral refers to the light sensitivity of the variety. Day-neutral strawberries will blossom and set fruit no matter how long or short the days are.
Generally, after the first ~, the foliage of most perennials starts to die and wither. There are two philosophies on when to remove the dead foliage. One approach is to immediately remove the dead foliage.
You can if you heavily mulch after the first ~ in the fall (usually around the end of September). Cover your carrots with about 12 to 18 inches of dried tree leaves/straw mix. Make sure you extend your mulch 12 inches beyond the sides of each row.
They've been growing a long time and have been through several ~s. That makes them big, but lovely and sweet. The carrots have been growing since March and have reached a reasonable size. Remember the first thing to do with carrots is remove the tops.
Dahlias will succumb to a ~. Dig up the tubers, and place them in a bed of dry sand. Store them in your cellar over the winter and replant them in the spring. You can mark the tubers with the flower color if desired.
Harvest all gourds before a ~. Immature gourds will not last long, but frost will ruin soft skin gourds entirely and even a light frost can alter the color of hard skin gourds and affect their ability to dry.
Discard bruised and spoiled gourds. They will just begin to decay in storage.
Before ~, cover un-harvested carrots and beets with a 12-18″ layer of straw or leaves. (The shoulders of beets are susceptible to frost damage, so be sure to cover them before heavy frost). Lift back the mulch and harvest as needed.
To do this, simply wait until after a good ~ (which kills the adult moths) and then (a) cut back all iris leaves to a couple of inches and (b) remove all dead leaves and stalks as well as any debris and mulch that's near the plants. To be safe, don't compost this stuff.
For transplants, start seeds 8 to 10 weeks before the last ~. To direct seed in the garden, plant on raised beds, made by adding large amounts of sifted compost or other soil amendments so that a bed is established above the previous level of soil.
November is the month when the ~s and heavy rain usually arrive so it's important to grab whatever time you can on the plot in case you don't get another chance.
An allotment in November, soil turned over and lime applied
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After there have been a couple of ~s (but before temperatures drop to below 20 degrees (F)), cover the strawberry bed with 3" of mulch. Straw and hay make wonderful mulch for strawberries. I've also heard of those who use leaves, sawdust or pine needles.
If you live in zone 9 or above, your freesias can remain in the ground, but if you're below zone 9, dig them up after the first ~, and remove the dead foliage. Store the corms in a single layer on some newspapers, leaving space between them for good air circulation.
Many perennials grown in regions with extreme winters can be considered annuals because they will die back due to the ~s in the fall. We refer to these perennials as 'tender perennials.' Examples of tender perennials are impatiens and lantana.
In the Coastal South and Tropical South it's an evergreen shrub. In the Lower South it dies back to the ground after a ~ but returns the next season to bloom fine. Just cut the stems back to the ground after a ~.
In the fall, after several ~s when the ground is frozen, mulch with straw or chopped leaves 4-6' inches deep.
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For fall crops, plant eight weeks before the first ~ to produce good-sized plants before the days become too cold for further growth.
those of us without a cold frame or hoop house to protect plants from a ~). Just know that while it's not too late to plant now, your yields will not be as great as they will be for the gardeners who planted a few weeks ago.
Geraniums are perennials that require special care in the winter because they cannot survive ~s. You can, however, overwinter your geraniums and replant them every spring.
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If you want a great plant that will color your flower gardens from spring until the ~ then you will love the wave petunia. This hardy plant is easy to grow and will grow to occupy a large space in your...
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All year if cloche protection in ~.
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The tubers do not form till late summer to autumn so yields can be low if you get early ~s, unless you protect the plants. When freshly harvested the tubers have a pleasant acid-lemon flavour and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Make sure you get them in before the first ~.
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Fruits of the larger types are ready to harvest when the skin is hard and the stem is dry and brown. The gourds should be harvested before chance of a a ~, with a few inches of stem left attached to the fruit.
The semi-hardy ones will be injured by a ~, but will grow in cool weather and not be harmed by a light frost. Tender plants are injured or may be killed by a light frost but can withstand cool weather, while the very tender are injured by cool weather.
Protect it on the first cool or light frost nights, but bring it indoors when ~ is likely. Place the plant in a sunny, cool room. It needs 40- to 50-degree temperatures from Nov. 1 to Jan. 1. Do not fertilize during this period and water only enough to keep the plant from wilting.
Find out when shiitakes should be started in your area. In most parts of the country, it is best to inoculate your logs around the time of the last ~ of the spring. However, growers in some areas have had good success with inoculating in the fall.
Wintertime fresh fruits can tolerate a couple of extremely mild frosts in autumn, but needs to be collected ahead of ~. Winter weather kinds have to have a extended growing period and much more backyard area for expansive crops.
Chinese cabbage quickly goes to seed during warm summer days. Dry weather accelerates the process. For best results, choose early varieties, start plants in individual containers, and transplant after the ~ in the spring. Late spring-seeded Chinese cabbage will also go to seed.
Summer squash is best harvested young and tender. Outside skin should be soft. Winter squash should have a hard outside skin. Harvest winter squash before ~.
Brussels sprouts, also a member of the cabbage family, may not have enough time to mature if they are planted in July. However, they are very tolerant to frosts. If planted early enough to form small heads before frost, they will withstand ~s and may even remain useful after snow melts.
• Cut back foliage When foliage turns brown (after a ~), cut it to the ground.
• Stake tall varieties Add peony rings or guards to support tall varieties that flop.
• Ignore ants Ants sip the nectar on peony buds, but they don't harm the plant.
However, they can be severely damaged by temperatures dropping below 0ºF. If you live in a region where this occurs regularly in winter, lift canna rhizomes and winter store them. After a ~, the foliage of your cannas will die back. Cut the stems back to about six inches.
The leaves curl in cold winter weather, exposing the central part of the leaf but not the edges, resulting in the area near the main vein becomes desiccated and turns brown. To prevent this, water plants thoroughly before the first ~, protect from drying winds, apply mulch, ...
of half strength liquid fertiliser during the growing season keeps the bulbs happy. Any free draining soil in the garden, or free draining potting mix in containers is suitable. My own experience suggests that keeping the bulbs out of strong sunshine is best, and protection from ~s is ...
See also: What is the meaning of Frost, Plant, Soil, Flower, Spring?