bonus episode | show notes & advice | Hard Frost
In this episode, Sarah shares her expertise on keeping your gardens safe from hard frost. If cold weather is forecasted, make sure you act the night before to ensure your plants survive the cold snap.
In this episode, discover…
- How to protect your precious plants from frost
- The many benefits of mulch
Products mentioned in the podcast
Are your plants frost hardy? (0:40)
Bringing in plants that are vulnerable to frost is the safest way to protect them. Sarah brings Dahlia tubers into the house and stores them in the kitchen to stop the plants from turning into mush.
Similarly, to protect semi-tender shrubs like sparmannia africana, place them in somewhere protected such as an open-sided barn. Bringing the plants closer to the house should also ward off frost.
Don’t forget to mulch (1:52)
Mulch your plants during the autumn before the first hard frost, and then push away in the spring once the weather has stabilised and the frost is over in April. This will seal some of the moisture into the soil, prevents the roots from being exposed to frost.
If you’re struggling to move a whooper pot that’s planted up with heliotropes or scented leaf pelargoniums, dig them up and bring them in, or wrap them in recycled bubble wrap, or fleece. Also, if the frost thaw gets into beautiful Cretan pots, this will cause them to crack, and they’ll lose their detail.
After long periods of frosts, it’s essential to make sure your containers haven’t dried out. Make sure your plants have the whole day to take up the water before the temperatures drop again.
Don’t cut your garden back too early (3:23)
Whether you’re working with salvias, pelargoniums, or rudbeckias, leave them frosted, looking ugly with brown straw top, until you’re sure the hard frost is over in April, and then cut them back.
You’ll then find these tender perennials become hardy perennials and you can grow them out in the garden without any fuss and bother.