Preparing for the First Frost
With the first frost quickly approaching, you should be aware of the steps you need to take in order to protect your plants. Frost is when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower, causing ice crystals to form on the ground and other surfaces. The Sioux Falls and Brandon area is located in zone 4, which means that we can expect the first frost to occur sometime in the beginning of October. Knowing this will help you get the supplies you need to fend off the frost and keep your plants thriving for a little longer.
You should focus on covering your tender plants with either an insulating blanket or micropore plastic. The best time to cover your plants is in the evening when the sun is still out, doing this will help trap the warmer air. You must be careful when covering plants to avoid foliage damage and remember to remove the covering in the early morning when the sun comes out. Hardier plants or perennials can be surrounded by shredded or bark much to protect the roots and cover the bare ground. If your plants are potted you can bring them into an insulated space before a frost.
When it comes to plants such as tomatoes you should pick off the developing tomatoes and let them ripen indoors. Picking your plant’s product off will allow you to still enjoy what has been already produced without it getting rotten from the frost. Rooting vegetables such as turnips and beets will be fine because the soil is a buffer to the weather, hot or cold. After a few freezes you should pull up your annual plants to prepare for spring planting.
Be sure to pay attention to the weather forecast as the first frost date gets closer. Don’t let all your hard work in the garden or flower bed go to waste. Stay tuned for more expert advice from Oakridge on all your plants wants and needs.