Fighting the frost in your garden

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 4:35 PM EDT
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PHILADELPHIA, New York (WWNY) - A couple of chilly mornings could have catastrophic consequences for your plants. But there are ways to keep them safe.

We spoke with greenhouse owners who have tips for fighting frost.

“It’s the North Country. We live in a place where we’ve had snowstorms on Mother’s Day,” said George Bosworth, nursery stock manager at Martin’s Greenhouse in Philadelphia.

Parts of the North Country dropped below freezing Wednesday morning, meaning frost, a serious risk for plants.

“Eventually, the blooms would wilt right off and you’d lose them for the rest of the season. Some of the more sensitive perennials will die altogether,” said Bosworth.

Here are tips for conquering the cold. For starters, keep plants covered.

“So we try to use a really light cloth that will protect the plants and keep them a few degrees warmer than it would be on the outside of the cloth,” said Bosworth.

But there are some pitfalls to avoid. For instance, leaving a cloth on for too long could suffocate a plant or break part of it.

Another tip is to keep plants hydrated

“It still needs to be covered but water retains a lot more heat than air does so a dry plant will get cold a lot more quickly than a wet one will,” said Bosworth.

At Zehr’s Flowers and Landscaping in Castorland where temperatures can run a little colder, one of the owners has some recommendations of her own for keeping your plants safe.

“For hangers I would suggest just bringing them inside so they wouldn’t get hit with anything,” said Kendra Widrick.

She also recommends keeping plants covered, but not too lightly especially when things are extra chilly

“I would suggest doing towels or a thick sheet,” she said.

Another freeze warning is in effect for late Wednesday into Thursday morning.