The Q&A Archives: Protecting Seedlings from Frost

Question: I live in a low area and it freezes often, many times unexpectedly and without warning. I want to plant my seedlings outside to get a jump on the season, but do not want to cover and uncover them every day. Other than the wall of water, do you have any other suggestions (perhaps homemade?) to protect them?

Answer: An easy way to keep them covered is with fabric row covers supported by wire hoops. It's best to use fabric rather than plastic, since the fabric breathes. These fabrics are available from many mail order sources and garden centers. You can cover an entire row, and leave them covered until conditions warm up. Fabric doesn't usually protect plants if temperatures drop lower than 28F. For added heat collection, place plastic milk jugs, filled with water and painted black, around the plants. They'll collect solar heat during the day and radiate it out at night. Hope this helps!

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