Frost protection

Winter cold protection - for container plants and the plant beds.

Patio plants - frost protection

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Patio plants can be placed close together in a sunny patio, preferably covered (patio with ceiling or a shade on top). Wire shelves help to place more number of plants in the same space. The shelves also become the support walls for the frost cover.
Heavy weights are placed on the top of the shelves to prevent cover from flying away. Large binder clips to tether the cover at different levels of the shelves also keep the sides relatively in place.
This system creates a nice greenhouse effect and surprisingly holds well even in high winds.
Water the plants before covering if you will be leaving the plants covered for few days. If there is a stretch of cold weather for few days, plants can be left covered for a week without opening. They won't need watering during this time as the cover helps conserve moisture.
For the warm days and cold nights - cover in the evening around sunset time and uncover when the patio gets the sun again next morning. The cover should definitely be removed if it is sunny and more than 60° or it may get too hot for the plants inside.
Below 32°F cover the frost sensitive plants. If it is a calm clear night you may need to cover even at temperatures above freezing. How much are they protected in your patio also depends on your patio direction and microclimate.

Plant beds - frost protection

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For the plant beds the frost cover can be used in various ways. Simplest would be to place heavy objects such as heavy planters filled with soil in 4 corners of plant bed and stretch the fabric over it. Put several weights on the fabric on the ground around the perimeter to keep fabric in place. If the plants are not very tender then fabric could be directly layer over the plants as well. However, in case of snowfall plants may suffer some damage if the fabric is directly placed on the plants.
Hoops can be made from PVC pipes or even more easily from thick galvanized wire. The fabric is stretched over to create a tunnel and binding clips are used to attach fabric to the the wire hoop.