Protecting Plants from Cold Weather

There is freezing weather on the way. We are expected to get down to the mid 20 degrees. Now that is cold for this area of Texas! I do have some plants that will need some protection from the freezing weather.
The main thing I need to do is cover my tender plants. You can cover plants several ways. You can use cardboard, blankets, sheets and burlap. It is not a good idea to just cover them with plastic sheeting alone because the plastic sheet can create condensation and then you will have cold water dripping on your cold plants and that could cause more damage to the plants. But, you can put plastic sheeting on top of cardboard or old bed sheets to prevent the cardboard or the sheet from getting wet in case of snow or rain. Remember do not use a plastic sheet by itself!
If you do cover your plants make sure you drape your covering loosely as to not crush the plants under the weight of a heavy blanket or burlap sack. Also you will probably need to secure your plant coverings with stakes, rocks or bricks so the covering does not blow away with a brisk wind.
 You can also cover plants with mulch. The mulch can be straw, hay, bark, pine needles or fallen leaves. This would provide a layer of insulation for your tender plants. You could also use any plastic pots or glass jars to cover small individual plants.
Another protection for tender plants is that if  there is a prediction that freezing weather is coming in a few days it is important to water your plants a couple of days before the freezing weather sets in as this allows for the plant not to be under so much stress.  A plant who is receiving adequate moisture is apt to survive the freezing weather better than a plant that is already under stress from not receiving adequate moisture.
Also you can add a gallon jug filled with hot water under the cardboard, blanket, sheet or burlap you are using to cover your tender plants. This jug of hot water will help to maintain the temperature around your plants at a higher temperature and give your plants a better fighting chance to survive the freezing weather.

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