You must protect many outdoor plants from the whims of Mother Nature during the unpredictable Northern Utah winter. Just when we start to think the warm, spring weather is here to stay, we get hit with a cold snap.

Protect Outdoor Plants

Most plants – particularly native Utah plant varieties – can handle the frigid temperature. However, early sprouting seedlings, flower buds and tender new growth may need some extra protection. Here are three ways you can protect outdoor plants in a sudden cold spell.

No. 1: Bring Outdoor Plants Inside

The simplest way to protect vulnerable plants is to bring them indoors. Placing them inside your home, your garage or an enclosed porch (but way from vents) can safeguard plants from cold weather.

Not every newly-budding outdoor plant can come inside, of course. You can usually easily move hanging baskets and container gardens. New sprouts in your garden beds should stay put, though – experts don’t recommend digging them up, even during a cold snap. Doing so could actually do more harm than good.

No. 2: Cover the Plants

To protect fragile new seedlings in your garden beds, experts advise covering them when the temperature dips.

Use a frost blanket, cloche or row cover material – not plastic -- to insulate the ground around your outdoor plants and keep them warm. Prop the cover with sticks or stakes to keep it from coming into direct contact with the new growth. And, make sure to remove the cover the next morning after the temperature warms up. For a newly-planted warm season garden bed, you might want to consider making a row cover hoop house.

No. 3: Mulch the Plants

Mulch adds beauty to your landscape but, more importantly, it also acts as an insulator.

With proper mulching, a cold snap has a much smaller chance of causing plant problems. Mulch helps keep plants moist and warm and protects the roots of newly-planted trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. If frigid weather suddenly crops up in Northern Utah, make sure your plants have the right amount of mulch.

Do you have more questions about how to care for your outdoor plants? Talk to the friendly team at Millcreek Gardens, Northern Utah’s favorite garden center and plant nursery since 1955. We can give you expert answers and advice to keep your annuals, perennial flowers, shrubs and landscaping trees healthy and strong.

The Millcreek Gardens staff has decades of experience with gardening and landscape in Northern Utah, and we love to share tips and secrets with our customers. For more ideas and information on how to your protect outdoor plants, visit our Salt Lake City garden center today.