How to Protect Your Plants in Cold Weather?

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Here are a few tips for helping you protect your cold-sensitive landscape plants and cool-season vegetables to survive winter cold snaps:
If soils are dry, water the garden or landscape well a few days before extreme cold sets in. Moist soil holds heat longer and is more insulating than dry soil.
Be sure to not overwater in winter – wet soils increase root and crown rot diseases. Plants growing in containers are more sensitive to cold temperatures than plants growing in the ground.
Open blossoms and blossom buds showing color are more sensitive to cold than other plant parts. If you have camellias, blueberries, or other early blooming shrubs with open flowers and wish to protect the blossoms, completely cover the bushes with a row cover or blankets. Make sure covers extend all the way down to the ground and that they are staked down.
Blueberries do not open all their blossoms at one time so even if you lose some blooms in a freeze, your entire crop will not be lost.
Cover vegetables and cold-sensitive landscape plants such as figs and gardenias during cold spells. Cold hardy vegetables should be covered when temperatures are expected to fall below 32 degrees.
Wait until temperatures return to more moderate levels before removing covers even if this means keeping plants covered for several days.
When using row covers or other materials keep in mind double layers provide more protection than single layers.
Uncover crops as soon as milder temperature return. Smaller plants such as strawberries or seedlings can be covered with a thick layer of dry leaves or pine straw.
Many vegetable farmers use high tunnels, a type of unheated greenhouse, to grow winter crops. If you are serious about growing vegetables year-round, consider installing a high tunnel for winter gardening.

-Submitted by Anass Banna, Small Farms Agent