Frost Damage - Knowledgebase Question

Louisburg, KS
Question by lbennett5
October 17, 1999
I planted a fall garden and everything is, or was coming up beautifully. The last several nights I have been covering the plants with 6 mil plastic sheets. Last night we had a hard frost. Most of the leaves are extremely cold and stiff, some appear to have frost on them. I 've done some research in your Q & A section and found that I should have had an insulating air section. How do I tell if the plants are damaged, by withered, darkened leaves later in the day? Are my underground vegs (beet, turnip, kolrabi, and carrots) damaged as well or will they continue to grow?


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Answer from NGA
October 17, 1999

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Plastic is not recommended as a frost protection. Try burlap, old sheets, blankets, or purchase frost cloths specifically designed for that use. Try to use some type of framework to drape the cloth over so it doesn't touch the plants. It should go completely to the ground to trap any rising heat absorbed by the soil during the day. Yes, the dark, withered leaves are frost damaged. Most root crops are hardy and should continue to grow. Good luck!

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