Plants are still in a tender growing stage during May and therefore they must be protected until all risks associated with cold weather have passed. There may still be frost, cold winds and heavy rain in May, with nights potentially reaching very cold temperatures. But what steps should you take to effectively protect your plants from bad weather conditions?
Cold weather can cause significant damage to your plants including wilted and limp leaves, and brown or yellow foliage.
Tender young plants are most likely to be affected by harsh weather.
However, even hardy plants can become damaged over a significant period of cold weather, particularly if the ground soil becomes frozen repeatedly.
Once a plant is damaged, you must remove the damage or it could spread to the rest of the plant.
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A fleece works very well when it comes to protecting bedding plants and vegetables.
A horticultural fleece or recycled, fine grade net curtain should be supported by wire or cane loops above plants.
The cover with wires should also help to elevate the fleece above the plants to avoid squashing them.
The fleece can also help maintain food airflow around plants and therefore can be left in place for a few days.
Placing mulch on the ground around the roots of plants will also help to insulate them and protect them from the cold.
This method tends to only work effectively with hardy plants however.
Mulch materials which prove most successful include garden compost, straw and bark chippings.