In Cincinnati, Ohio (where Mulch Mound is based) gardeners need to understand how temperatures impact veggies since the seasonal change can often be dramatic. Without this knowledge, you risk losing your plants or having a less productive harvest and no one wants that!
We tend to use the terms “frost” and “freeze” synonymously, but there is a slight difference between the two. A freeze is a more broad term to describe when the temperature drops below 32 degrees, but for a frost to occur there must be low temperatures, as well as large amounts of water vapor in the air. A light frost, in gardening terms, is when the temperatures fall below 32 degrees for a few hours. If the temperature drops below 28 degrees for a longer period of time, this is considered a hard or “killing” frost.
All plants have a different tolerance to temperature and frost. Here is a list of common garden vegetables. Be sure to look up your specific plant if it didn’t make the list or if there are multiple varieties.
If the temperatures are getting low enough to put your plants at risk, there are a few precautions Mulch Mound recommends to mitigate damage.
- Bring any potted plants inside.
- Add dry mulch to the garden beds to provide an extra barrier to the cold.
- Cover your plants with non-plastics such as blankets, bed sheets, towels, etc.
- Cover your plants with a cloche (a bell shaped cover, usually glass or plastic).
- Simulating wind can increase the garden temperature by 2F - 7F.
No need to panic if you planted your crops a bit early or the temperatures take a sudden drop! Stay calm, use the options above, and mulch on!