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Postby katski13 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:41 am

Hi Everyone

About a month ago we planted some herbs in our new herb/vegie gardens. Yesterday however we got our first frost :( It wasnt overly heavy but today we got another one, a litle worse than yesterday. My Corriander and chilli plant arent too happy... we are used to frosts but thought we would have another few weeks to a month before we got one, and in that time I was hoping our herbs would be mature enough.
In there we have: Lemongrass, rosemary, mint, parsely, corriander and sweet basil, garlic, broc, cauliflower, baby spinach, bok choy, lettuce, chilli and strawberries

can any suggest what we can do to protect them from the frost? Do I cover them nightly with something? Will this help?
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Re: Frost

Postby kitkat » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:10 pm

Yes you need to cover them with plastic sheet , hessian or shade mesh on frosty nights. As the soil gets cooler some will succumb but most will survive if covered. One way to make it easy is to use black poly pipe curved over the beds ,dug in at edges to form a dome,and drape the cover over each frost warning and off each morning. Good luck
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Re: Frost

Postby gardenlen » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:51 am

covering will help, might have to keep the covers above the plant as the chill could still pass through, also keep in mind some plants are summer plants, do some research wouldn't especially a chilly doing well. also mulching the ground will help keep root runs and soil warmer, brassicas might have needed to be in by march to get some growth going they will then handle the frost, not sure about the herbs? when there is a cold air flow from the south frosts can come anytime. another way is get up before the grey dawn and put the sprinkler on them takes a bit of watering to achieve this then in the end is it all worth while? for me generally no! plant earlier like february for winter crops mulch heavily and what doesn't last then next time grow them in the summer. seen lots of effort put into saving plants from frost all to no avail, all you need is for a cold front to move through generally around mid-night and all is lost, can't fight a black frost.

i light covering of loose straw will also help all over the plants put it over of a night time and remove it for the day.

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Re: Frost

Postby Quenda » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:59 pm

You may be better off not mulching in winter if you get frosts as the mulch prevents the ground absorbing the heat from the sun...which is why we mulch in summer. From what I have read, mulch actually attracts frost in winter, so you are better off without it.
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Re: Frost

Postby greg.l » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:35 am

You do get less frost on bare ground. If you live in the tablelands you just have to accept you can't grow certain plants (chilli, lemongrass etc) over winter without protection. I have built a cheap polytunnel with curved polypipe for the frame. That won't work in a windy area, you would need something more robust like a glasshouse. If you are a keen gardener a glasshouse is a good investment. Remember that a polytunnel or glasshouse keeps the rain out so needs regular watering. A shadehouse will also keep the frost off a bit and lets the rain through, but not so good for herbs.
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Re: Frost

Postby Pam » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:05 am

Frost blanket is fairly cheap - it looks very much like interfacing used in sewing. In your area I would think most nurseries would stock it.
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