The Accidental Housewife: Keeping Jack Frost at bay

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Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 2:47 pm

My how time flies! Holidays are over, kids are back in school and our New Year’s resolutions are almost a distant memory…except for those few extra pounds!

For many of us whom thought living in Florida was our year-round ticket to warmth, seems Mother Nature has had a change of heart. So this week I’m going to share some easy, inexpensive ways to keep the chill outside your home and help prevent Jack Frost from killing your plants.

Your yard has different climates so need to know them in order to protect them:

Coldest spots: Open ground/lawns with no coverage/open sky

Warmest spots: South side of house, overhangs/evergreen branches protect/cover

Water on, Water off!

To paraphrase Ralphie in Karate Kid, “water on, water off.’ It may seem an odd way to protect your lawn, but before the temps dip again this eve and the sun is shining, water your lawn and landscaped plants thoroughly and let it soak in. The water acts to moderate the temp and hold onto the heat from the sun.

Once you water your lawn, be sure to turn off your sprinkler system or call your association to insure they do, so pipes don’t freeze and during the eve they go off. If you have an automatic control many of them have a ‘rain mode’ which will stop them from going on, so remember, “water off”. Check out easy automatic controls at Home Depot Sprinkler Controls.

Hoses: Drain/run all the water out of them so they don’t expand and burst! If the cold continues for days, cover with plastic.

Take cover!

Frost forms when leaf temp drops

Too thin and frost forms

Use items that insulate to lock in heat radiating from soil/dirt

Touching is a no-no: If plastic touches plants, it holds moisture against leaves and causes more damage. But, if all you have are plastic garbage bags, create a tent and just be sure that the plastic keeps its distance!

Best Insulators:

Stuff Around The House: Bedspreads, cardboard boxes

Garden variety: My favorite is N-Sulate Frost Protection Blanket Wraps, which you can cut to size and use again for less than $20. Love that! Available locally at www.mariposanursery.com

How to Install:

It’s important for the cover to reach the ground so it traps warm air and doesn’t allow cold in.

Attach with stakes/rocks or whatever to keep cover tight and secure

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