Growing up in middle Tennessee, I was always told the time to plant was April 15th, because that was the day that you were safe from frost. While walking around the University of Tennessee’s campus in the snow this week I was reminded yet again that the weather is unpredictable, and a bane to farmers everywhere .
With freezing temperatures in mind, it is important to know how to protect any plants already in your garden. This can be done through a variety of methods. The best defense for plants is to keep them covered. Often this is accomplished by using fabrics and cloth that protect the plant yet allow for air circulation. People with small gardens use sheets and blankets for coverage. Plastic can also be used.
Turner and Sons Nursery, located in Smithville TN, employed these methods this week in order to protect their strawberry crop.
Other methods include covering the plants with straw or mulch. It’s also beneficial to wet the soil around the plants, as water helps to hold in heat. Fortunately, all of the crops planted at the organic farm survived the cold temperatures this week .The interns were hard at work today planting squash, zucchini, cucumber, and tomatoes in the high tunnels as well as onions and potatoes in the field.