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Frost Warning Over Kill

Covered my plants with drop cloth plastic because there was a frost warning we left the plastic on for 2 days the plants got over heated and are completely wilted. Can my plants be saved or do I need to buy new plants? I attached a picture of my tomatoes they got hit the worst or all the plants but the stocks seem healthy. Not sure what to do here.
tomatoes.jpg (47.9 KiB) Viewed 10636 times

Greener Thumb
Posts: 801
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: Canada zone 8b

From looking at the picture, I'm not quite sure if the plants are dead or not. I'm pretty sure, however, that they are alive and can easily be brought back to health. The reason why I believe this is because tomato plants are really good at getting better even if they look really bad. In fact, I water my tomatoes when they start to look droopy!

So, first of all, uncover them. You may want to leave the cover on for only the night, only if it gets below 5°C (41°F).

Secondly, make sure to water them really, really well. Especially now, you may want to soak the soil the tomatoes are in really, really wet.

Also, a quick tip for healthy thriving tomatoes: use fish emulsion fertilizer. This stuff is super good for tomatoes. Basically any fish-related product is good to for them. As a matter if fact, you can even dig fish heads into the soil where tomatoes grow! I used to do that (until raccoons noticed what's going on!) and the tomatoes really benefited from it. A really noticeable improvement in the tomatoes itself was recognized as well as the tomato plant got a lot bulkier and sturdier.

Anyway, good luck and hope your tomatoes get well :)

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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3; state bird: mosquito

It seems I remember reading decades ago that plastic is not the best choice for frost protection, in some cases can make it worse if it happens to be touching the plants. Perhaps a lightweight floating row cover would have been better, and maybe wouldn't have cooked the plants so thoroughly during the day either? Or even a lightweight bedspread or cloth for the night time?

Others may weigh in. I've never used plastic for that purpose.

I like the fish emulsion idea!

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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

I've used plastic, but Taiji is correct. If the plastic touches the plant, it can conduct the cold. As long as the plastic doesn't touch, you're okay. It has to come off during the day, though. I'll use bedsheets if I have to. It doesn't have to be waterproof...just something for the frost to settle on before it reaches the plant.

I'd do as Annalkona suggested and water them really well. They might be saved.

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