How to Handle the First Frost

How to Handle the First Frost

With Mother Nature bringing an early frost to Eastern Iowa, there are a few things to consider to lengthen the growing season and protect your plants.

Protect Tender Plants or Harvest
  • All tender annuals, vegetables, and herbs need protection from frost.
  • Cover plants with sheets, paper, or cardboard boxes to keep frost from damaging the plants.  Avoid using plastic for protection.
  • Plants in pots can be moved into the garage while temperatures are below freezing.
  • If you are not able to protect your edible plants, be sure to make one last harvest.  Pick tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and tender herbs, such as basil.
  • While hardy plants like mums and fall annuals can handle cold weather, it is best to cover blooms or move into a garage or building to help prolong bloom time.
Move Tropicals and Houseplants Indoors
  • Make sure all houseplants and tropicals are moved indoors (if you haven't already) or into a space that is above 40 degrees.
  • Be sure to wash debris, dust, and insects off of your plant.  This can be done in the shower if you don't have a chance to use the garden hose before cold weather moves in.
  • Use insecticidal soap to protect the plant from insects currently feeding on the plants.
  • Treat with a systemic granular to help prevent insects from wreaking havoc on your plants during the winter months.  Most granular products work for 8 weeks to 3 months.  Be sure to read your label and mark your calendar to treat again.

 

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment