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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With temperatures in the 20s and 30s on their way, it's time to protect plants that you cannot bring inside.
Joe Autry says the average first frost in Kentucky is October 20. It's been warm, but now is the time to start protecting your plants. The first is to make sure that you get a good fresh bed of mulch or grab some of the leaves fallen and take and spread those around the plants and overtop of your soil. It traps the heat into the soil and just helps to keep that plant warm. The barrier keeps the frost away from plants.
You want to do a good weeding in the fall. Most of your weeds, especially in Kentucky, are more hardy than some of the shrubs. What starts to happen is they start to go for plant and the weeds. You don't want them taking over your flower bed. Around sundown, take a hose and moisten the soil. Water is warmer than ice, so you want the water to sort of take over. Don't be afraid that it is going to hurt it in any way, shape or form. Water is warmer than the ice and it is going to help kind of protect the plant.
Autry says the biggest mistake that people make, is they'll go out and take plastic that they have in their garage or house and they'll cover their shrubs. That might be okay overnight. but a soon as the sun pops up it starts to heat the plastic and you're cook your vegetation so you'll see browning and warping. Canvass is a great option. Believe it or not, something like a shower curtain or something to that effect works just as good. So it might be something that you still have It is important because it keeps the ice off the plants and so forth.
If you have a frost advisory and you know frost is coming, Autry says it is not a horrible idea to go out and lightly sprinkle your vegetation and things like that, because again, that water is going be warmer than the ice. You don't want to go bananas with a huge sprinkler, but just get a nice soaker, attachment, or a soaker hose just to put and provide light moisture. You're just trying to keep the warm water on it as opposed the ice.
Scott Krueger says bringing smaller
plants inside is easy. You just have to make sure you don't bring in the bugs.
Krueger says the first thing you should do is give your plant
a good visual inspection and look for a nest. If there are obvious signs of bugs,
if it is a nest or something like that, you want to remove it. You can dunk it plain
water for about 15 minutes. Then you can go ahead and re-pot it. You can also spray the plant with an insecticide
soap for an extra layer of protection. Just spray it on the leaves.