How to handle an Unexpected Frost

Macro closeup of yellow and orange pansy flower with frost ice crystals in winter morning in outdoor outside garden

Weather in the early spring can be unpredictable for gardeners. From warm days to sudden frosty mornings, the weather forecast is so important. Remember that it is not unknown for their to be snow in April. And this type of weather event can take you by surprise. So, we want to help you take steps to ensure any frost damage that you may encounter isn’t permanent.

Evening weather forecast

The evening weather forecasts on television, online, and radio are something to keep an eye on.  Particularly if you’re not sure whether there will be a frost or not, keep an eye on the evening weather. Whether on your way home from work or school and you have popped outside, you may notice cooler than normal weather and clear skies. This combination is usually a tell-tale sign that there might be frost on the way.


Stars sparkle clearly on a cloudless night over houses on a street in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
mulching garden beds with pine bark pieces


Should the weather forecast suggest that frost is expected and you have time, then you can use mulch. Mulching around your most delicate plants is similar to humans popping a jumper on. As the great thing about mulch is that it helps keep the soil warm.

This option may not always be possible so why not try...


A cloche is a solid cover for you plants. If you have a cloche, it is during colder weather that your younger tender plants will really appreciate the extra protection. If you have new sprouting bulbs or seeds and no cloche, look at covering them with cut water bottles, or other plastic tubs you may have in your home.

Alternatively, you can also use heavy duty plastic sheeting or horticultural fleece. Simply lay this over your plants and hold in place with bricks or pegs.

Woman gardener's hands covering of a cultivar yak Rhododendron (Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Fantastica') with a spunbond cover from frost in the autumn garden

Glass protection

Beautiful herbs and flowers in the greenhouse

Providing you have enough space, then a greenhouse or cold frame is a great place to keep any moveable plants safe. Your outdoor potted plants, will thank you for moving them into the greenhouse, cold frame, or conservatory. It’s the best way to keep them warm and ensures their safety during the colder nights.

Stay cool

Once the frost has come, don’t panic. Any overnight frost that hasn't been forecast doesn't spell disaster. Check you plants. Don't automatically reach for secateurs after a frost. As the can sometimes result in you getting rid of something that wasn’t actually dead. Leave the temperature to rise before you go on full damage control around your garden. Plants are miraculous and can  bounce back better than you think. Just make sure they’re regularly watered and fed.  And if after a few weeks they aren’t back to their best or growing as they should, look at pruning accordingly.

Pink heather flower growing in terracotta color garden pot, outdoors on terrace in winter, covered with white frost.
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SO DON’T PANIC! If the frost comes we can help you through it!!


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