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How to Protect Plants from Freezing Temperatures

The weather's getting colder and the frost is coming, but you're not ready to say goodbye to your landscape. Here's how to protect it.


  • Step 1: Consider location Grow plants near the southwest side of your home to maximize evening winter sun.
  • Step 2: Water before first freeze Water your plants before the first freeze. When frost is in the forecast, water your plants in the morning so they're not wet as night approaches.
  • Step 3: Add mulch Add 2 inches of mulch around the base of the plants. Common mulches are straw, leaves, and bark.
  • TIP: Adding mulch reduces water loss and protects your plants from freezing temperatures. Remove the mulch in the spring.
  • Step 4: Cover shrubs Cover your evergreen shrubs with burlap or a fabric that breathes, since plants need air circulation.
  • TIP: If possible, keep the cloth from coming in contact with the plants.
  • Step 5: Cover at sunset Cover your plants just when the sun is going down. Remove the covers when the sun comes up and temperatures rise above freezing.
  • Step 6: Block wind Block frigid winds that can damage your plants with hardy trees and shrubs, or by installing a fence.
  • FACT: The General Sherman tree located in the Sequoia National Park in California is the world's single largest living organism.

You Will Need

  • Mulch
  • Burlap or polyester fabric
  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Fence

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