Texas weather is very unpredictable! Our 5 y/o daughter called it “zigzag weather” meaning extreme warm today, the next day cold and snow!
We are like taking in and out our potted plants for these few days. We need a cold weather alert to prepare ourselves for upcoming cold weather and know-how to protect our plants from the cold.
There are lot of things we can do to help our garden through the winter but it all really depends on how young and tender the plants are, how cold the weather is and how long it will be cold out. These are the few ways we did:
- We brought potted plants indoor, some inside the house and others in the garage. Better yet to place near windows to get the necessary sun requirements they need as windows get the most light especially east and west facing windows. But make sure that the plants are not too near also because draft can be damaging if it is extremely cold outside.
- We watered all our plants before the cold weather hits because a dry plant will suffer more damage when expose to cold. A generous watering can help to retain some of the day’s heat into the night.
- We covered our tender plants with old blanket. You can use tarp, drop cloth or frost cloth that you can buy from store in different sizes and can even custom built to your garden beds. We have used newspapers last year but the problem is they get wet when it rains or snows unlike when it is cloth, you can just shake the snow out. If you need to protect your plants from a small number of especially cold nights, a simple shelter such as an old blanket may be enough. You may need to use a few stakes to prop it up and tie it down, otherwise it can damage the plant and can be blown away. This method works best to protect from frost rather than cold temperatures, as the covering won’t increase the temperature too much.
- We put mulch to keep plant roots well insulated. Mulch acts as an insulator that holds heat and moisture in the soil. It protects the root systems of the plants from cold temperatures. Insulation works both ways. It can prevent the soil from cooling off too quickly, but it can also prevent it from warming up promptly when the time comes.