Protect your Greens from intermittent light frost

It’s fall and although the daytime temperature are still quite nice, we’re starting to get some frost; especially on clear evenings.

Frost protection often relies on trapping heat present in the soil so it stays around the plants.

Here are a few ideas to protect those last few greens still doing so well in the garden:

  • I keep my white spun fabric handy (by the door just inside the shed) to throw onto the tender kale, chard, arugula and other greens when a light frost is called.
  • Old curtain sheers work well too. The fabric can be anything light enough to not crush the plants and  yet (if you forget or have to dash off early to work) would still let the light in through the day.
  • If a heavier frost is called for, stake or add hoops over your rows then drape sheets, frost blankets or other materials over the plants and stakes. Try to avoid letting the sheeting or blanket be in contact with any plant parts and make sure that the covering drapes all the way to the ground. Cover the edges with a small amount of soil or other material to hold the edges down, if needed. Remember to take these covers off as the day warms.

diagram right and wrong

 

For small or isolated vegetable plants, you can cover them individually with a glass jar, plastic bucket, garbage can or similar container.

It’s also time to start thinking about closing up the cold frame overnight if you have one. And if a really cold snap is in the forecast, cover it with a little blanket to keep the heat in too.

Here’s a useful reference – Frost Tolerance of Vegetables