As any home gardener knows, there are several pesky factors that can harm even the most well-maintained lawn, from plant-chomping critters to harsh weather. Though meteorologists do their best to inform us of storms, cold fronts, and weather fluctuations, there are some times when the weather can be downright unpredictable. Unexpected cold snaps can bring frost, while a heat wave can cause a drought that parches your lawn.
Harsh weather and unforeseen conditions might make you want to hang up your gardening gloves for good, but if you learn how to protect your plants from harsh weather, your lawn will continue to flourish no matter the weather conditions.
How to Protect Your Plants from Harsh Weather
Protect Your Plants from Frost
If you are forewarned about a frost, you can protect your plants by covering them with a sheet, burlap sack, or an old blanket. Drape them lightly and secure with rocks, stakes or bricks. You can place light covers directly over the plant but heavier cover will require you to provide some type of support. This is important to prevent their weight from damaging your tender plants. Wires would offer great support. Covers protect plants from frost by retaining heat. However, do not forget to remove the covers as soon as the sun appears. This ensures the plants will get oxygen and the much needed sun energy for photosynthesis.
Another great way to protect your plants from frost is mulching. This method works well for hardy plants but most tender plants will not tolerate heavy mulch. Some of the best mulching materials that you can use include pine needles, straw, and loosely piled leaves. Mulching helps your plants retain moisture, and during the coming cold winter, it’s a great way to hold heat and protect your plants against from harsh weather. A mulch covering of about 2 to 3 inches is ideal.
Protect Your Plants from Heat
When summer temperatures soar, our vegetable gardens and flower beds often suffer. There are some steps you can take to protect your plants from harsh weather, including high heat. First, be sure to water your plants regularly and deeply. You can also reduce loss of moisture and help lower soil temperature by mulching your soil with a minimum of three inches of organic mulch. And be sure to plant your lettuces and other leafy greens in shady areas. This will keep them healthy as long as possible in harsh weather.
Protect Your Plants from Hail
We all know that hail can cause extensive damage to your car and your home, but have you ever considered how it might harm your plants? You can protect your plants from harsh weather like hail by covering them with heavy duty containers like plastic buckets or trash cans. Just place a brick on top to prevent the containers from toppling over. Larger plants or vining plants may need a different covering, like a tarp or blanket; you can secure these with stakes or weight down the corners with rocks.
Protect Your Plants from Heavy Rain
Rain may seem like a good thing for your garden, but if it is heavy enough, it can wash away entire beds and uproot your plants. You can protect your plants from rain by building up the soil around your plants. This will help prevent them from falling over or washing away.
Delicate seedlings are especially susceptible to damage from heavy rain. You can protect them by covering them with plastic sheeting or containers.
If you have potted plants, heavy rain could make them waterlogged and even cause mold. Be sure to move your potted plants inside if possible, or find the most covered area outside and place them there. This will help protect your plants from harsh weather.
Protect Your Plants from High-Speed Winds
High winds can really tear apart a garden. If you have a fence, you can create a windbreak to lessen the intensity of the wind. Just attach some plastic sheeting to the fence and poke a few holes in it. The wind will slow as it hits the sheeting, so it won’t cause as much damage to your plants.
Now that you know how to protect your plants from harsh weather, be sure to pay attention to your local forecast and arm yourself with plastic sheeting, containers, mulch, and soil!