Help! Frost? You've Gotta Be Kidding Me!

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Carol Cook, May 13, 2016.

  1. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    I took off a day from work yesterday for the explicit purpose of planting my annuals and veggies.. I picked a Thursday because our local nursery is usually packed with shoppers on the weekends and parking is impossible. So.... I planted my tomatoes, peppers, basil, cukes... some herbs.. I figured we were pretty safe from the threat of frost mid May. But.. the forecast is calling for possible frost Saturday night into Sunday!! What do I do?? I guess cover every darn plant.... Dang! Wouldn't you know..
     
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  2. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Whoops! I didn't bother doing much planting when I lived up north, other than a few indoor house plants. I just don't have the patience of dealing with multi-stage planting and waiting around for the weather to cooperate. I would imagine this frost, if you get one, won't last very long? We occasionally get a light frost where I live, and my plants are outside year round. The container plants are particularly susceptible, since their roots are shallow, and above ground, so when a frost is coming, I usually cover the bases of the plants with towels and/or blankets. I usually use my older beach towels and blankets that aren't in the greatest shape anymore, since I'll end up getting rid of those anyway.
     
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  3. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    No I don't imagine the frost will last much longer than a few hours.. sometime Saturday night through Sunday morning. I plan on making a trip to Costco today to purchase a package of Styrofoam cups to place over the plants.. most are in-ground... but I do have some in containers.. I'll take your advise and use some towels around them... The one hanging basket I have can be brought in the house..

    I have always planted on or around Mother's day.. and I'm a week late.. so I really thought I was safe.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I have used a large plastic tarp sometimes when we had a frost expected, and that worked just fine, especially when it is just a light frost. That is a lot simpler than covering each plant individually.
    One year, we had tomatoes right up until Thanksgiving because ever night that we had frost, I tarped over all of the tomato plants. Then we had a heavy freeze, and that did the tomatoes in , tarp and all. Of course, by November, it was cold enough even in the daytime that the tomatoes were not producing much anyway, but still it was nice having them out there with a fresh tomato every now and then.
    Good luck with the plant covering, @Carol Cook ! !
     
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    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  5. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I think any kind of light cover would keep the frost from damaging the plants. The heat from the ground would help. Do you have any old bed sheets? Maybe you could throw them over the plants. Back in the olden days, farmers covered their tobacco plant beds with canvas cloth to keep the frost from damaging the plants. It was so thin you could see through it but it protected the plants.
     
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  6. Arlene Richards

    Arlene Richards Very Well-Known Member
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    Took a day off work? You said you recently retired. Did you get another job?
     
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  7. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    We went out and bought some thin 0.7 mil painters tarps that will be flexible and easy to cut.. and we can also hold them down with landscape pins or stones if we have to. Otherwise, I will just haul out some old pots and Tupperware to put over the larger plants.. Keeping a watch on the forecast, maybe there won't be a need... but better safe than sorry. I spent a lot on those plants... it would be a shame to ruin them
     
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  8. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    I work a couple of days a week now... I thought I talked about that already..
     
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  9. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    Carol.. Not sure where you live, but they are calling for up to 5 cms of snow for this week-end.....
    I live in Massey, Ontario..
    We haven't planted anything yet, but will be doing so in the next week or so.. Generally we don't put anything in the ground till the first week-end of June......
     
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  10. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    Around here, Northern Illinois, Mother's day is the big planting day. . I have never had a problem.. But I agree.. it's much less nerve racking to wait until at least the last week in May. This morning's forecast calls for a low of 35 in the wee hours of the morning. I'm not concerned with my impatiens border that is right up against the house and being that close to the house usually keeps the temp several degrees higher.. But I'm going to cover the Dianthus in the front yard.. and the tomatoes... I'm playing it safe and bringing all the containers in the garage.
     
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  11. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    Frost and about 2 cms of snow overnight.. Low was -4c..
    Now the sun is out, the temperature is warming up and it will be 10c today..
    Almost like a bad dream...
     
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  12. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    no frost in my area... it got down to 38F though.. still glad I took all my containers in and covered the plants in the ground.
     
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  13. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    Pretty chilly here too in Central Virginia. I wouldn't be surprised if we dropped into the upper 30's at night. In fact roomie just came in and told me that it wasn't supposed to hit 70 here until Friday.! That would be almost unheard of here. However, I am cool with it. At least I don't have to run the AC, nor will I run my heat..because when it is sunny we get a lot of ambient sunshine in here.
     
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  14. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    As I post this, it is -3c ....
    The snow didn't stay long because the ground is too warm, but it is still nippy out..
     
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  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Geez! Since "Springtime" regularly can skip our area, even though several weeks in April exhibited temps. 20 degrees below normal, both lows and highs, which was wonderful, it has already hit 100` F. here, 94 today, a "reprieve" predicted tomorrow, only 84`, cloudy (finally), 20% chance of rain!
     
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  16. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    I just came back in from letting the dog out for its morning pee.. The dish with water that is on the patio is totally frozen..
    time is 6:00am .......

    Need I say more ?????????
     
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  17. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Steve North

    Man! Late Springtime in Canada. We wondered a day or two ago,. why so many folks from up north are still down here with their motorhomes. One place has at least 50 or more, perhaps half are Canadians. Your weather offers a good explanation!
    Frank
     
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