As a gardener, you try to utilize as much of the growing season as you can in order to get as much as a harvest as possible. That means you start your garden inside when old man winter is still blowing hard through your region and transplant them into the soil outside when they are strong enough and the weather has changed enough to allow them to grow. In the fall, this also means that you have to be prepared for those early frosts that can come and ruin the prospect of harvesting a few more fruits and veggies before the end of the season.
A little time now to prepare will make sure that you aren't surprised by an early frost. Know how to handle it in advance to keep your garden growing as long as you can into the cooler months.
Get a Heads Up
There's nothing worse than waking up in the morning to realize that an early frost has hit your backyard garden and you weren't prepared for it. One of the first things that you can do to prepare for early frosts in your area is to keep an eye on the local news. While weather people have a bad reputation for getting the forecasts wrong, they often can give you a heads up when there is the possibility of an early frost in your area. The worst thing that happens could be that you prepped your garden to make it through the frost only to find that there was no frost. But hey, it's better than not preparing and having a frost occur and put a complete stop to your growth. You may not even have to watch the news as computers and phones can be used to pinpoint the weather for your zip code.
Prep in Advance
The next step is to prepare for when you get word that the frost might be coming. This means stocking up in advance on all the things that you'll need to protect your plants.
You can purchase tarps relatively inexpensively from your local home improvement and hardware stores. You just have to remember to remove the tarps in the morning after the air has a chance to warm up a bit, or you may have a whole other problem on your hand with your plants. Garbage bags can also work in a pinch if you're able to get them over your plants. There are also specialty fabrics that you can purchase from most gardening suppliers. These are often nicer to use than tarps because the fabric will often allow ventilation in case you aren't able to pull them off as soon as the temperature warms up the next day.
Not only will you need the proper supplies to cover up your plants, but you'll also want to have something on hand that you'll be able to use to secure the tarps, garbage bags, or specialty fabrics down. It won't do you any good to put these out only to have them blow away on you. Then you just wasted the effort, and it's possible that you won't see the materials you paid for again depending on how hard the wind is blowing. Twine, rope, rocks, and stakes are all good for keeping your frost materials in place.
Move Potted Plants
The biggest benefit of caring for potted plants is that you can bring them into a shelter when you know that a frost is coming. This just means that you need to do a little planning for where you're going to put them when you get word of a frost. Set aside some room in your home, shed, or greenhouse to house them during the frost where you'll be able to move them in and out easily enough. This may mean cleaning out the space in advance so that you're not rushing the night of, and you'll want to make sure that you have easy access to the area.
Put Your Plan in Action
So, you've heard on the news that a frost is expected overnight, and it's time to put your plan into action. You'll probably want to start covering them before the sun goes down to make sure that you don't miss anything. You'll want to use your materials to protect all of the plant, so take a look around your covered plants to ensure that it's completely covered and secured. Covering them isn't always easy depending on the size of your plants, but you'll want to be cautious so that you don't smash them.
No longer will you need to fret the coming of early frosts in your area because with these tips you'll always be prepared. No one wants to have to deal with trying to find supplies to cover their plants at the last minute, or even worse, finding out about an early frost after it's already happened. A little time now will help you extend your growing season that much more.