Freezing temperatures are coming tonight and forecast to last for the next several days.
Take a drive down the street in your neighborhood, you will probably see landscape plants covered with assorted sheets, towels or frost cloth.
There are few types of vegetables that don’t always survive winter in my zone 9a garden without protection when temperatures dip below freezing.
In the past, I have protected my San Marzano tomato plants with success by covering them completely with frost cloth.
This year, I decided to protect my bell pepper plants. The reason was because they were producing so well up until December and I didn’t want to have to wait a long time for new peppers.
|Pepper plant planted among garlic and nasturtiums.|
The cold weather has arrived in my neck of the woods with even colder temperatures on their way later this week.
When temperatures dip below 32 degrees, you will find me wearing warm socks, slippers, a sweater, and cardigan when I’m indoors. But, besides me – frost-tender plants are also affected by the cold temperatures.
Have you ever wondered why your plant’s leaves turn brown and crispy after a freeze? Well, ice crystals form on the top of the leaves, which ‘sucks’ out the moisture from the leaf, leaving it brown and crispy.
|My neighbor made things worse by using plastic as a covering for his citrus trees.|
With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it as a blessing that our desert gardens need little, if any attention during this month, letting us have more time for all of our numerous holiday activities.
(if you’re desperate, you can prune your deciduous trees)
Although the frost damaged growth is brown and ugly and it takes all of your willpower to abstain from pruning it, do whatever it takes to keep your hands off! Go shopping, bake cookies, volunteer, take the kids to visit Santa or any of the other things on your Christmas to-do list.
For more reliable protection, you can use frost cloth (available at your local nursery), which can protect plants from even lower temperatures when used as directed on the packaging. Be sure to remove the coverings in the daytime to allow the surrounding area to warm up again.
As I write this, it is raining outside. I love the rain. I always have, even as a young girl growing up in Southern California.
I especially like the thought of all the rain falling on my vegetable garden.
If you look closely, you might notice something growing that usually doesn’t belong in a winter vegetable garden (in zone 9a and cooler areas)….
I am hoping that this winter may be mild enough that they will survive if I protect them from frost.