How to protect your garden from a late-season freeze

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With a freeze watch in effect later this week for portions of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, taking steps to protect sensitive plants is essential.

News 2 spoke with Mary Weber, the Director of Horticulture at Cheekwood, to learn more about keeping plants hearty and healthy as a late-season chill moves through. While some plants are hardy enough to survive a late-season freeze, Weber says that others are not.

“The most susceptible plants that we’re concerned with here specifically are our newly installed summer annuals,” Weber said.

While mulching and ground coverings are a great way to protect plants, there are a few other steps that you can take to make sure that your plants survive the frost and freezing temperatures.

According to Weber, adding an inch of water can add a layer of protection.

“A couple of measures we try to do as far as our newly installed annuals, summer annuals, is that we will water them in,” said Weber, “Water insulates the roots because moist soil is warmer than dry soil.”

Frost cloths can also help save foliage that is sensitive to temperatures at or below freezing.

“The big key about covering up with frost cloth or any type of you know, any type of old bedding or sheets, what have you is just to make sure you put stakes to keep the material from touching the plants,” Weber said.

You can also cover large potted plants that are too heavy to carry inside but need some protection from the cold.

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