How to handle an Unexpected Frost

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

I think we can see the difference in weather this April is significantly different to last year. Waking up this morning to settled snow has definitely taken the UK by surprise. So, we want to help you take steps to ensure the frost damage isn’t permanent, and what to do over the next few nights when the temperature will drop below zero.

Firstly, if you’re not sure whether there will be a frost or not, keep an eye on the evening weather. If you’ve popped outside in the evening and noticed the temperature has dramatically dropped and the skies are clear, this is a tell-tale sign 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

If frost is expected, or there was a frost the night before and the temperature hasn’t risen, look at putting a layer of mulch down around your plants. It’s basically like putting a jumper on your garden and keeps the soil warm.

If you have a cloche, now would be a great time to put it over your plants. 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.

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

If you have potted plants outside, consider moving them into the greenhouse, conservatory or onto your windowsills. It’s the best way to keep them warm and ensures their safety during the colder nights.

Once the frost has come, don’t panic. If a frost has hit over night that you weren’t expecting, don’t rush outside to see what the damage is. Starting to prune or deadhead too soon after a frost 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 sometimes bounce back better than you think. Just make sure they’re regularly watered and fed and if over time they aren’t back to their best self or aren’t growing and blooming like 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!!

 

For more guides and tips, make sure you visit the Free Resources page on our website

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