If you’re like me, your ears perked up when you heard the forecast for tonight into tomorrow–overnight temperatures are forecast to dip well below freezing! If you’ve already planted any annuals outside or have vegetables started in your garden, please take the time to protect them tonight. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent frost damage to tender plants:

  • Mound bark mulch or compost around the base of tender perennials, annuals or vegetable starts.
  • If you have an entire vegetable garden planted and it has no vertical obstructions, spread a tarp over the garden to build a mini-greenhouse. Raise the tarp a few inches above the soil (or above any plants) to create a pocket of warmer air and seal the edges with bricks or rocks to keep cold air out
  • For potted plants or hanging baskets, move plants into a cool garage. If pots are too bulky to move that far, relocate planters to a place up against your house under the eaves. Doing so can boost temperatures by 10 degrees or more. 

All the forecasts I’ve seen show tonight’s predicted freeze to be the last one before a return to more normal temperatures for this time of year–which means that it’s time to start gardening! For tonight, though, if you’ve already moved any annuals outdoors, please the time to shelter them–your plants will thank you for it!