Protect Plants from Frost with Frost Protek Plant Covers

| 1/17/2014 9:58:00 AM

Most gardeners want their plants and flowers to last despite unpredictable frosts that can kill or damage them. After finding the right plant colors and varieties, after seeding, potting, fertilizing, watering, and pruning, it can be frustrating to have a late spring or early fall frost kill them off and have to start over.

“You never know when a frost will hit,” says Steve Goto, a southern California-based expert nurseryman and lecturer known as the Tomato King, who conducted 80 seminars throughout western states last year.  “Average frost dates are based on history, but cannot accurately predict the future.”

For gardeners trying to protect plants from frost the traditional way, there are challenges. It is hard to move heavy potted plants, containers, or hanging baskets indoors or to protected spots, particularly with a late night frost warning. Some gardeners attempt to move their plants out during the day to get needed UV sunlight, then back indoors at night to keep them warm. Yet this is difficult for those who are busy or forget; and when plants are repeatedly moved, they are likely to damage buds, blooms, branches, or trailing stems.Frost Protek

To protect plants from frost, home gardeners have traditionally tried to create makeshift covers from sheets, blankets, towels, or plastic, but these can actually harm plants, even when not blown off by wind. Instead, experts are suggesting some easy new alternatives that are much more effective.

“Once sheets, blankets, or towels absorb moisture, they become heavy, can crush the plant, and take a long time to dry out,” says Goto. “They offer no thermal protection from frost when wet with rain or dew, nor does plastic.  They can block air circulation, making frost crystals more likely to form on the plant. Since they block needed sunlight, gardeners have to remove them during the day to allow UV exposure then replace them at night, but few are willing to do so for long.” 

For effective plant frost protection during the growing season with minimal effort, Goto and a growing number of gardening experts are recommending an innovative type of frost cover called Frost Protek. Made from spun polypropylene, the same fabric used by commercial growers for plant protection, the frost cover insulates better than sheets, blankets, towels, or plastic, and can protect plants to 26 degrees.

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