Don’t Let your Shrubs Fall Victim to the Frost
After a very enjoyable fall and early winter, the weather forecast for the upcoming weeks in the Valley is calling for some very cold nights. In fact, we are already beginning to see some frost and very cold temperatures in areas around town. After your trees and plants have thrived throughout the fall season it is important to take the proper steps to protect and care for them, so they will be healthy once spring shows up and reach their full potential.
We receive many questions from our customers regarding tree and plant protection and about what should and shouldn’t be covered, when it should be covered, for how long, what to cover it with, and if there are other protective steps you can take to protect your landscape. Our Nursery Professionals and Tree Care team have provided us with some great tips and protective measures to ensure everything in your yard makes it through these next few weeks.
The first step is figuring out which plants and trees are going to need protection, and how much protection they will need to survive. The most common plants damaged by cold weather are tropical varieties that are not used to temperatures that fall below 35 degrees. (Based on this logic, us Arizona natives are probably at a high risk for frost damage too so bundle up!)
Plants and shrub materials such as Bougainvillea’s, Lantana, Hibiscus, Tropical Bird of Paradise, Boxwood Beauties and younger Citrus trees are some of the more common landscape items that are affected by the cold weather. If you don’t know the types of plants you have, take some photos and bring them down to the nursery so we can help you figure out which ones might need extra protection this winter.
Water and Super Charged Moon Juice
One of the easiest ways to prep your plants for a cold night is to water them heavily the night before a freeze. Once covered this will create humidity, which means that the air will retain a little more warmth than dry air. Coupled with our protective blanket you can create a small micro climate for your landscape that will provide even more protection.
Our experts also recommend using SuperCharged Moon Juice prior to the cold weather hitting your yard. Moon Juice helps accelerate moisture intake along with providing vital nutrients that plants might be losing because of the cold. This will help protect your trees and plants from the cold weather and give them a jump start when spring arrives.
You can also use incandescent lighting (older warming bulbs) to help protect trees from frost damage. Focusing the light onto the tree will create heat that will stop frost from forming on the tree. Unfortunately, incandescent bulbs are becoming harder to find but they are other options such as infrared heat lamps.
Covering Trees and Plants
Cover your plants before sundown and make sure to secure the covering against wind that might rip it off the plant during the night. When covering your plants our experts recommend using our Plant Protecting Blanket, which can be found at all our Moon Valley Nursery locations. The Plant Protecting Blanket has been designed to be lighter, yet provide better protection, than traditional materials used for landscape fabric. This cloth blanket helps insulate your trees and plants and retain heat and moisture. At the same time, it will help retain heat coming from the soil.
Burlap or cloth materials can also be used, but never use plastic as a cover for any plants or trees. Leave your plants covered until the sun has risen and temperatures are above freezing. Repeat this process daily during freezing temperatures.
And one more time for safe measure - DO NOT USE PLASTIC AS A COVER.
Moon Valley carries all the material and supplies you need to help protect everything in your yard. From ready-to-use Cloud Cover to bulk Plant Protection Blankets that can be cut to order, we have you covered. Call our tree care team today with any questions you might have or bring in photos of your plants to the nursery, so we can make sure you have everything you need to protect your plants this year.
We don’t always get below freezing temperatures, but when we do, Moon Valley Nurseries is ready and here for you. Knowing what to do during these few weeks of super cold nights will keep your landscape looking great throughout the winter, keep it healthy, and ready for the spring!