Frost

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short-season varieties that will produce quicker in fall’s shorter growing season.

When frost arrives

Even though your fall vegetables might be able to handle the cold, you may want an extra layer of protection for unseasonably cool nights. Fortunately, you can do a lot to protect plants from sudden dips in temperatures.

Growing vegetables in the right spot can make a big difference. Choose a location for your garden that gets plenty of sun, especially in the morning when you will want plants to quickly shake off overnight chill. Planting in a raised bed also helps insulate plants and their tender roots from ground freezes. Container gardens are also great for fall; when a severe frost or hard freeze threatens, you can bring plants inside overnight for protection.

Sometimes you may want to cover plants against extreme cold. One option is a cold frame. Typically constructed of wood and glass or plastic, the frame sits over plants like a portable mini greenhouse. You can build your own—an online search will yield plenty of how-to plans—or purchase a prefabricated one.