How to Protect Your Garden Plants From a Freeze or Frost

As fall progresses and the days get shorter, we all dread that weather forecast that includes the words “freeze” or “frost.” So what do you do when there’s a frost advisory or a freeze warning? What if you want to preserve your precious tomatoes or other plants just a while longer?

Use an old blanket or tarp

This is the free and easy solution – who doesn’t have an old blanket lying around? A blanket will provide some protection against a frost and a few degrees of protection in a freeze. If you have a tarp, that will work as well.

Since this will block light transmission to your plants, you should remove the blankets or tarps as soon as temperatures are above freezing.

Use a floating row cover

Agribon AG-30 floating row cover protecting sensitive crops
Agribon AG-30 floating row cover protecting sensitive crops

These floating row covers are great to use at different points in the season. In the summertime, they can protect sensitive plants against extreme summertime temperatures, but they also provide great frost protection and can provide up to 4 degrees of freeze protection.

Another great advantage is that a row cover allows most sunlight to get through, so you don’t necessarily have to remove the row cover – you can leave it on and still allow your plants to get light.

The Agribon row covers are a great example of a row cover that can protect your plants. We recommend the Agribon AG-30 floating row cover for many uses throughout the year, including frost protection.

Use a freeze blanket

A freeze blanket is similar to a floating blanket, but it’s made of thicker material and provides greater protection to your plants. Most freeze blankets will provide an additional 8 degrees of warmth.

Since a freeze blanket does block most light, you’ll want to remove it when the weather allows, but if needed, you should be OK if you leave the blanket covering your plants for a couple of days.

Frost blankets in action
Frost blankets in action

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