The daytime temperatures in Austin are still warm and pleasant, but the nights are starting to feel nippier. Jack Frost is definitely on his way – are you prepared to deal with the first freeze of the season?
If you haven’t started to do so, stay tuned to meteorology reports. When the weatherman says to expect freezing temperatures overnight, you know it’s time to take action.
On the day of an expected frost and about an hour or two before sunset, water all freeze-susceptible flowers, shrubs and trees. Wet soil holds more heat than dry soil: moreover, the air above wet soil is up to 5 degrees warmer than above its dry counterpart. Hydration can also help plants withstand any damage that cold winds may inflict on them.
Running a sprinkler at night can also help plants as well because water releases heat as it freezes. BUT: because Austin is still under stage 2 restrictions, you will only be able to use an irrigation system on your assigned day, between the hours of 12 am and 5 am and again between 7 pm and 12 am. So hand watering before nightfall is your best option.
Erecting physical barriers
You can also put sheets, tarps and cardboard boxes over the tops of fragile plants to keep them safe from frost damage. If you use fabric (or fabric-like material), it’s wise to first erect a cage of some kind around the plants before covering them. Any physical barrier you erect will keep plants 3 to 5 degrees warmer than the surrounding air. If you cover plants while it’s still light, you’ll also capture any heat that radiates from the soil at night.
South Austin Irrigation is here to help you get the most out of your lawn and garden with top-notch irrigation inspection and repair services. Don’t let Jack Frost take a chilly bite out of your garden. Contact us and let us show you the way to extend the life of your autumn landscape today!
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