Watering: Believe it or not, watering will actually help slow the freezing process. Something about the ground being damp making it so the freeze will not go as deep as if it were dry dirt. Also if you live in a part of the world that gets rather mild winters (the coldest it gets is about 25 Degrees F, or about -3 C, and that is for only about 3 hours in the dead of night) then you might have to worry about your evergreen plants drying out. Particularly if you are experiencing a bit of a drought, as I'm dealing with in northern California bay area. Your other plants usually are dormant by then and water usage is at a minimum.
Covers: There are many many different covers you can use to protect your plants from cold. They range from physical covers , like a tarp or a large potato sack, to fine netting, to liquid sprays that will insulate your plants and increase their cold defense by about 8%. My favorite cold guard is called Cloud Cover, a wonderful spray that will go on and dry clear and form a protective flexible shield from cold, heat and wind that will also lessen the water loss from the leaves. The only problem is that it is not effective at extremely low temperatures, and will wash off in a heavy rain.
|Pic from Greenasitgets.com|
Although, If you want a good protection from the cold you can always use a tried and true method. String Christmas lights around the plants you want to protect. The heat from the bulbs will actually keep the plant from suffering freezer burn. The biggest problems with using lights are if you have LOTS of plants you will need LOTS of lights, and you need a good even distribution of lighting, this will possibly produce too much light for your to comfortably stand, or you neighbors will accept, especially if it is not around Christmas time. Your electric bill will suffer from this as the lights have to be the old energy hogs because the new LED lights do not put off enough heat. Lastly, you will have to put them up and take them down just like you would for a normal decorations, and THE biggest problem is that it will not keep the ground from freezing unless you put a layer on the ground as well, and that would just be silly.
If you have a few bucks to spend I would invest in a green house. The glass one on a cement base would be the best choice, however there are plastic ones that work almost as well and are much easier and cheaper to erect. The best one I have found was in a gardening magazine called mother earth news , the convertible greenhouse is basically just a metal pipe frame with hinges that allows it to fan out into a half circle that sits flat side down with the special plastic sheet on top to trap the heat. It's a great design, and not only will provide cold protection, but will allow you to grow great stuff in the spring and winter!
OK! thank you for reading guys! come back again soon for more tips on getting your garden growing.