Cold-Sensitive Plants? Use Frost Cloth This Winter

Cold-Sensitive Plants? Use Frost Cloth This Winter

Properly applied frost cloth can protect your frost sensitive plants from the cold even when the temps dip into the 20’s! 

Plants that Need Protection:

  • Avocados
  • Citrus
  • Ferns
  • Tropical Plants
  • Cactus and Succulents
  •  

    Not All Coverings Are Created Equal

    Always use frost cloth designed for covering plants. Frost cloth is made of a fabric that will not transmit cold to the leaves.  Other products made of plastic for example, can actually transmit cold to the leaves and cause more damage! Green Acres carries only the best product from Easy Gardener, that comes in 10′ x 12′ sheets and is light and easy to handle.

    If necessary, the frost cloth can be left on the plants for an extended period of time without the risk of harming your plants.  Sheets or blankets, however, must be removed every morning once the temperature reaches at least 40 degrees. We do not recommend using blankets because they are heavy, can be hard to secure over your plant, and don’t allow sunlight in. Frost cloth is light and allows the sun to pass through the fabric thus warming the ground. 

    Knowing a Bit About the Environment Helps

    frost_cloth_right

    The objective of frost cloth is to trap the heat to keep the plant warm. Sunlight during the day warms the soil surface. As the day progresses into night, the heat from the soil radiates into the atmosphere. Follow the temperature to place the frost cloth before the soil starts to cool. 

     

     

    Watering Plus Frost Cloth Equals Success!

    Keep soil around the plant moist but not soggy, especially during times of wind or days without rain. Moist soil absorbs more heat. Keep the moisture level as even as possible. Ice crystals form on the leaf surface and take moisture out of the leaves. Plants suffer and incur more frost damage if they are dehydrated. Make sure you check soil moisture during periods of cold, north winds too. 

     

    Wilt Stop Plant Protector

    Wilt Stop Plant Protector
    • It forms a soft, flexible, clear film on treated plants.
    • This film protects plants from drying out, drought, windburn, sun scald and winter kill.
    • It is a natural, non-toxic product derived from the resin on pine trees.

     




    Correctly Placing Frost Cloth

    You just bought the frost cloth and the forecast is for a very cold night with frost.

    How do you apply the fabric?

    • Completely drape the plant from the top all the way to the ground.
    • Apply the cloth right before sun down to make sure the cloth gathers the heat produced in the ground during the day.
    • Don’t leave any openings in the cloth for the warm air to escape or cold air to enter at night.
    • It is crucial that the frost cloth touches the ground, to the drip line of the plant.

     

    Placing a heavy object like bricks or securing the fabric into the ground with frost fabric staples will insure that the cloth forms a seal with the ground and traps the warm air that radiates from the soil that is captured during the day.  The bricks or staples will also secure the cloth on the plant in the case of heavy winds and or rain and reduces chances of it blowing off the plant.

     

    Frost Cloth on Trees?  Yes!

    Frost Cloth diagram_right_and_wrong

    Remember, it is crucial that the frost cloth touch the ground to soak up
    radiant heat captured during the day. This is true of trees too!  If you just wrap the top of the tree with frost cloth and leave the trunk exposed, much like a lollipop, the tree will not be able to trap the radiant heat from the ground. Also, the cold night air will sink to the ground and the fabric will not be able to collect the heat or moisture to help the frost cloth protect the tree.

    Following these simple instructions will help you keep your frost-sensitive plants alive in the winter.

    Previous article Citrus: Winter Sunshine for Sacramento
    Next article Distressed Lawn: Revitalize or Replace?