Tips to protect your plants and winterize your lawn ahead of widespread frost this weekend

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 10:02 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - With the first widespread frost and potential freeze of the season on the horizon, now is a good time to prepare and protect your outdoor plants.

Experts at Wallace’s Garden Center say the mix of warm days and cool nights so far this fall has allowed the plants to adjust to the cooler temperatures.

Ahead of the first frost, it is recommended you bring in or cover any plant that is in full bloom, such as hydrangeas and mums.

“We recommend just cover them with a sheet, move them up under your overhang or where they’re not going to be out where they might get frost that lands on them. So, just, you know, really light protection and they will be fine. If you still got tomatoes growing in the garden, even if they’re green, go ahead (and) go out and pick them. You can ripen them on your counter,” said Kate Terrell, owner of Wallace’s Garden Center in Bettendorf.

Even after the first frost, it is still important to keep up with your lawns and gardens. There are many different fertilizers you can put down to keep your yards healthy throughout the winter.

“Fall fertilizing is the most important fertilizing you can do. You go ahead and put a fall winterizer or fall fertilizer on your lawn right now, you’re going to have a faster green-up in the spring. You’re going to have less issues with disease like snow mold that we can have if we have a wet spring. So you want to make sure you get your yard fertilized at least one more time before we go into winter. Keep watering those trees and shrubs,” said Terrell.

Even after the frost, it’s important to keep up with your lawn.

“When we have our first light frost, people think ‘oh gosh, winter is coming, I might as well be done with the yard, don’t have to do too much more.’ But actually the ground is still really warm and your plants, even what you’ve planted this year, are still trying to grow roots and establish a root system. So we encourage everyone to keep watering all the way up until the ground freezes which can actually be weeks from now,” said Terrell.