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Protecting your plants from freezing temperatures

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - If you have started your garden, you want to protect your plants from cold nights where temperatures fall into the twenties and thirties. Annuals, basil, and other early season vegetables like tomatoes are just a few plants that can be damaged from freezing temperatures.

Hanging or potted plants should be brought inside overnight to avoid the cold. Plants in the ground should be covered by a frost blanket or a sheet to help trap in heat. Ella Maxwell, a Hoerr Nursery Horticulturalist, said “You don’t really want to use plastic, because it doesn’t have the same insulating properties. And if the plant is touching the plastic it’ll probably be damaged.”

If you accidentally left your plants outside and they suffered frost damage, there is still a chance you can save them. Bring the plant back inside immediately and avoid placing it in direct sunlight for 48 hours.

Then water the plant and allow for it to drain freely. After a couple of weeks, you can trim off dead leaves and that will encourage new growth.

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