Protecting plants from late spring frost

Frost Warning for the Boston AreaTonight – Tips from Mahoney’s Nurseries:

The weather forecast is calling for overnight temperatures in the low 30’s (possibly upper 20’s) and the probability of frost for many Massachusetts towns.

If you have purchased and planted any tender plants, you’ll want to protect your investment by moving them inside if at all possible, or covering them if they’re already planted. It’s always best to move plants inside (especially tender plants like veggies and annuals) because frost damage can still sometimes occur event if a plant is covered.

For covering plants, most anything will work, but old sheets, blankets or burlap sacks work best in preventing frost from forming on flowers and foliage. When covering plants, drape them loosely and secure the cover with stakes, rocks or bricks. If necessary, use stakes or wire to support the weight of the cover to prevent the plants from being crushed. For taller, more fragile plants, an upside down trash barrel can be placed over the plant. Just be sure to secure it or weigh it down so it doesn’t blow over and crush the plant. Also, remember to remove the covers when the sun comes out the next day.

Fruit Trees: Fruit trees that are currently in bloom should if possible be covered if you are planning on harvesting their fruit later this year.

Flowering Shrubs: Recently purchased or planted any shrubs with tender new growth should be protected. Also, if you purchased any shrubs this spring that are in bloom right now, covering them may help preserve their flowers.

Please note that few flowering shrubs actually have flowers on them right now. If you leave them uncovered, the plant will be fine. Only the flowers that are on the plant at this moment could potentially be damaged.

Perennials and Roses: Any newly purchased or planted perennials or roses that have tender new growth should be protected.

Final Note: If you are concerned that a plant may be damaged by frost, it is probably best to be safe and protect it.