Blankets, boxes, moist soil can help protect garden against freeze, frost
By MARY HIGHTOWER | U of A System Division of Agriculture
With freeze warnings and watches covering much of Arkansas on Monday, gardeners are being advised to give their plants some protection.
The National Weather Service on Monday issued freeze warnings for the northern tier of counties, with a freeze watch extending for much of central and southeastern Arkansas. Lee and Phillips counties were under a frost advisory for Monday night.
Sherri Sanders, White County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said keeping the soil moist is one key to survival when frost or freezing weather hits.
“Make sure to keep soil saturated. Water in the root zone is good insulation for plants,” Sanders said.
She also suggested mulching plants with straw, leaves or other materials to provide soil surface insulation for plants.
Covering your plants with “blankets, cardboard boxes and towels can also serve as protection as well” by trapping warmth from the ground and protecting vegetation from being frost-bitten by cold air, Sanders said.
The National Weather Service at Little Rock said an areawide freeze is likely for Tuesday night. In a tweet Monday morning, the weather service said that “Little Rock may see its earliest freeze on record.”
For information on protecting strawberries, check out the Arkansas, Fruit, Vegetable and Nut Update.
For additional information about gardening, contact your county agent.
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.