The dos and don'ts of protecting your plants from freezing tempe - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

The dos and don'ts of protecting your plants from freezing temperatures and frost

(Source: James Parish) (Source: James Parish)
ARKLATEX (KSLA) -

A strong cold front will blast through the ArkLaTex on Friday. Even though this front isn't going to bring in a ton of rain, it's going bring in a blast of cold air.

The following Counties will be under a freeze warning from midnight to 9:a.m. on Saturday.

Arkansas

  • Howard,
  • Hempstead,
  • Little River,
  • Miller,
  • Nevada

Oklahoma

  • McCurtain

Texas

  • Bowie
  • Camp
  • Cass
  • Franklin
  • Marion
  • Morris
  • Titus
  • Wood
  • Upshur

Temperatures are expected to tumble into the upper 20s and lower 30s across these areas Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Even though freeze warnings do not extend into Northwest Louisiana, it will be cold. Frost will still be possible in spots.

When temperatures drop to near or below freezing, it's important to protect plants. Below freezing temperatures will damage or kill tropical plants or tender vegetation that are left outside or unprotected.

Mark Walton, the co-owner of Garrison's Greenwood Gardens Nursery, said before someone can protect their plants they need know what types of plants they have.

"If it is a hardy plant then it's capable of going through the winter," he said. "If it is a tropical plant then it is going to need total protection."

Walton said total protection means the plant should be moved to a sun room or greenroom or inside completely.

For plants that cannot be moved inside, Walton recommends covering them with a frost protection fabric instead of a blanket or plastic.

"A common mistake beginning gardeners make is cover something up with plastic.  Go to work the next day and come home the next day and the plastic has gotten ridiculously hot and they burned the plant."

Frost protection fabric lets water through and does not build heat.

Walton highly recommends watering plants through the colder months, especially since the area has been in a dry spell.

"We just got one little rain, so with the cold that is forecast [this weekend]. You want to make sure everything is really watered well because a dry plant can get more cold damage than a wet one," Walton said.

Mulch will also help protect plants through the winter months.

Walton also suggest not to over protect hardy shrubs and trees because it will make them more tender.

Also, don't forget about pets! Freezing temperatures are unsafe for most breeds, especially smaller animals. 

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