Protecting plants after the first frost

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A lot of people may be kicking themselves Wednesday for forgetting to cover their plants as some parts of the metro saw the first frost of the season, but experts at Bannister Garden Center in Kansas City said it isn't too late to save them.

What you want to do is use a hose or watering can to rinse the plants of any ice crystals, which is most important before the sun comes up and after it goes down.

Potted plants, annuals and tropical typically sustain the most damage from frost.

Some vegetables like tomatoes and green beans won't be able to survive the cold fall temperatures.

Anthony Mistretta, owner of Bannister Garden Center said while it's important to cover your plants, don't waste your money on a cloth from a garden store.

"Your best bet is to look in your basement and see if you have some old sheets you haven't used in years", he said. "What you don't want to use is plastic. Plastic transmits the cold through and right onto the plants and you have very little protection. However, blankets or tarps will provide several degrees of protection there."

If you do decide to bring plants inside, make sure not to overwater them. Inside plants need less water than outside ones and if you water them before the soil is dry, you could cause the roots to rot.

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