Oh, yes, we had a frost this past Saturday night.  You may have noticed some of your plants looked wilted, sad and a little cold.  The first frosts of fall are usually “radiation” frosts.  These occur under clear skies with very little wind, if at all.  Frost kills plants when the internal temperature is cold enough to breakdown the plant’s cells, causing the plant to wilt and die.  Low areas in the garden where cold air settles will freeze earlier.  Plants close to or alongside your home are offered some protection; however, when temperatures dip below 28 degrees, that protection is negated.

To help protect plants from frost, trap the heat from the soil around the plants.  Cover them with straw, tarps, plastic sheeting or even newspaper.  Watering the garden before a frost will offer some protection as well.  Wet soil can hold four times more heat than dry.  Apply winter mulch to perennials and roses after a hard frost when the ground begins to freeze.  You certainly cannot protect your plants forever as winter will eventually end the growing season.

If you haven’t already, be sure to get your spring-flowering bulbs planted now before the ground freezes.

Protecting plants with straw and tarps

“Some leaves hang late, some fall

before the first frost – so goes

the tale of winter branches and old bones.”

– William Carlos Williams

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney

Enjoy some of our favorite Fall pics taken right here in beautiful Illinois!