Spring is here. The clocks have gone forward, beer gardens are full and the most fruitful stretch of the gardening calendar is upon us. But the sunny days and cloudless nights have a downside… frost.
Clouds act like a blanket for the sky at night when there is no direct sunlight; on a cloudless night this blanket is gone and the earth is exposed. This means that the glorious sunshine is causing us frosty mornings which, in turn can ruin our early efforts at planting out.
Frost damage can be particularly bad in spring when the plants are young and less hardy. We wrote this blog post in the winter about How Cold Weather Affects Your Plants. Now the winter is over, many gardeners have forgotten about the dangers of frost, leaving their plants at risk. Frost damage can catch out even the most experienced gardeners because it’s very difficult to prepare for.
Here are some methods of protecting against frost –
Plant blankets – You can buy these from any garden centre or online. Very effective but expensive when you have a lot of plants.
Avoid frost pockets – Frost tends to gather in sunken areas so avoid these like the plague. Could be worth using raised beds where possible.
Choose hardy plants – This is your first line of defence. Read the back of seed packets and only choose plants that are suited to this time of year.
Cover with an upside bucket – Or anything else for that matter. You can be a bit creative with alternatives to plant blankets.
Water soil – Wet soil is more resistant to frost than dry soil so water it one or two days before frost is forecast.
Apply Envii Early Starter – Early Starter is a bio-stimulant that protects plants against cold weather. It effectively reprograms the plant to generate more root growth, rather than aerial growth, so that it has better access to water and nutrients. Most importantly this means you can plant earlier in the spring and later in the autumn without the risk of your plants dying.
Terry Walton, BBC Radio 2’s Allotment Doctor said he would “strongly recommend it to any gardener looking to grow in the early season when the weather is cold.” To read the full review, click here.