Dealing with Heavy Frosts

frosty veg patch

Brrrrrrr….it is CHILLY! If, like us, you’ve been hit by a huge frost, then don’t panic. Here are a few words of advice…

  1. Bring pots and containers under cover – You can pop them into an empty greenhouse for a few days or into a back porch where they’ll still get plenty of sunlight but they’ll stay a bit warmer.
  2. If you’ve got a bed of winter salad leaves, cabbages or any other brassicas, then lay a loose covering of horticultural fleece over the top, either draped gently over and held down at the sides and corners with pegs or rocks, or carefully constructed using a hoop to form a mini polytunnel. It won’t help any plants that have already been affected, but it should save a few extra casualties.
  3. Use a cloche in place of the horticultural fleece if needs be. If you don’t have one you could cut a clear plastic bottle in half and cover the plants with this to make them their own little green house.
  4. Add mulch to fruit plants and trees – a nice thick layer of mulch around the base will keep the frost away from their roots and keep the temperature a little more consistent for them.
  5. If you’re growing kale and cabbages and they’ve got a bit of frostbite this morning, that’s ok, they probably won’t die as they can tolerate some frost.
  6. Frost makes parsnips taste better! Now that we’ve had a good heavy frost, you will find that any parsnips you’ve been growing will taste even better…dig a couple up for a Sunday Roast this weekend!
  7. If your beds are out of action for the winter, it’s still worth covering them with horticultural fleece, old carpets or some black plastic to keep the soil from hardening and to give you a head start in the spring.