It’s not your imagination — it’s definitely getting colder, which means this week in the garden we need to focus on preventing damage from a sudden overnight freeze.
All frost-tender plants should be protected. That means moving pots into protected areas and covering those that you can’t relocate.
When moving pots, put them as close to your house or a structure as possible. Buildings radiate heat from the inside and by absorbing the sun’s warmth during the day. At night, when temperatures drop, that heat can help prevent plants from frost or cold damage.
You also can place plants under a sheltering tree. Even if you only manage to save a degree or two, that can make a big difference.
For plants that can’t be moved, your best bet is to cover them. Avoid draping cloth or fabric onto limbs and branches. The plant can be damaged wherever the material touches it.
Consider building some frames using PVC pipes. Make them large enough to cover the plant, then drape the cloth over it. For larger plants, you can drive some rebar into the ground and slip the pipes over it for a sturdier structure.
If relocation and covers don’t work, you can wrap the plant in old-fashioned Christmas lights — not the new LED lights. The old bulbs produce heat that will help keep the plants warm. Make sure the lights are approved for outdoor use. They will be hard to find in stores, but you can order them online.
Watch weather reports for frost warnings. Water plants well before an expected frost. However, don’t water your succulents. They store water in their leaves and stems, and ice crystals can form inside the plant, causing damage.
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle