This winter/spring has been an odd one! Some areas of the country experienced warm days followed by unexpected snow storms! The beginning of spring is a bit temperamental, and if you are new to gardening this can mean the destruction of all of your hard work! If you are working on a garden this spring, here are a few ways you can make sure your garden stays healthy even with unexpected drops in temperature:
How to be prepared for last minute frost
Watch the weather
If you have a garden, keep an eye on the weather. If you miss out on a frost warning you may wake up to a garden full of snow and a garden devoid of your favorite veggies or plants. A simple way to track frost alerts is via the Organic Linker website. You can sign up for email alerts when a potential freeze is headed your way.
Consider ordering seeds or plants at the beginning of January. You will not be able to plant them outside when you first receive your order. But, you can begin planting some of the seeds inside. You can get a healthy start on some of your seeds and then transplant them after freezing season has departed. Depending on where you live, you may have to plant your cool and warm weather plants close to the same time.
Know your plants:
If you want a low maintenance garden, considering the type of plants and vegetables you want to grow is a must. If you plan right, you may be able to get away with simply covering your plants prior to an expected freeze to protect them. Vegetables like lettuce and Kale are a bit more sensitive to the cold than peas and spinach are hardier plants.
If you opt to plant outside initially, most of your seeds will need to be planted roughly 4 weeks or more before frost season ends. This means you have a few weeks of freezing at the helm. To help protect your plants, invest in frost blankets. You must use blankets specifically designed for plants. The fabric is specially designed to retain heat and prevent the freezing air from reaching your plants. Check your local gardening store for blankets. Don’t try to go cheap here and use sheets or plastic as these could actually cause more damage.
Consider a raised bed:
Plants that are put into raised beds are less likely to freeze. Try planting herbs and other cold sensitive plants in raised bed to further protect them.
Frost can be dangerous for your plants. Take time to prepare by watering a few days in advance and having frost blankets at the ready so you can preserve all the hard work you’ve put into your garden.