Protecting Perennials from Late Spring Frosts

As many of you know I am super excited that my grapes are all growing strong.  The warm spring has them growing quickly however in the last few days we have had colder night time temperatures return. I thought today I would give you quick tip on how to deal with late spring frosts.

This time of year like many of you I watch the weather forecast with great interest every day. I pay particular attention to the expected night time low and if it is below 5c or 41f I spring into action.

Night time temperatures are coldest right before dawn and often warm up quickly as soon as the morning sun hits the area.

Protecting from frost can be very simple.  As the air temperature drops the heat left in things like your plants and soil slowly leaves them until they are the same temperature as the air.  If the air is below freezing the water in the cells can freeze and damage your plants.  With potted plants such as my pixi grape and figs I can simply bring them in the house but my heirlooms are not so lucky.

By covering the plants with some old sheets you can help keep the warmer air close to the plants helping to prevent damage.  Often people will refer to this as keeping the frost off of your plants.

When the sun hits the area you can remove the sheets.

Other things that help keep your garden warm overnight are things like stones that retain the heat from the day releasing it at night.  It also helps to have a south facing slope or wall close by.

I have sustained some damage already this year but overall with this simple method I should see a recovery and hopefully healthy production!

I have a special episode coming up so make sure to tune in.

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About Stephen

The Alberta Urban Garden Channel hopes to promote organic gardening that is simple, sustainable and does not have to cost a lot. We do this by investigating the Science behind gardening, methods, practices and products to make sure that you will have the best chance of successfully growing your own food at home.