Protecting your plants from frost


QUAD CITIES, Iowa & Illinois (KWQC) – We are quickly moving ahead to the cooler months. That means frosts and freezes will become more and more frequent.

Statistics collected over the course of 30 years show that the average date of the first freeze in the Quad Cities usually occurs around October 11. The earliest first freeze happened on September 20, 1991 and the latest occurred on October 29, 2010.

As soon as the first frost is forecasted, any of your vegetable gardens and outdoor plants will need to be protected from the cold temperatures. Andy Kay, owner of The Green Thumbers said tropical plants should always be moved indoors. You can treat them with insecticide prior to bringing them inside. This will help to keep any bugs out of your home. As far as your outdoor gardens, Kay said you can do one of two things. You can either let mother nature take its course or you can take those protective actions. Protecting your vegetables and flowers will usually extend their life span by a couple more weeks. Kay suggests that you cover them with some sort of a blanket or sheet and weight it down if a breeze is expected. Once the morning sun has melted the frost, it is safe to uncover remove the sheets. Small potted plants can also be moved indoors.

Kay said you don’t have to worry about your fall annuals such as mums or pansies. He explained that these varieties are made to withstand overnight temperatures into the 20s.

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