Here are a couple of nutritional tips to help protect your garden plants from the inside out as frost nears.
1. Spray a combination of Sugar and Milk on the leaves. Milk contains lactose and galactose sugars that help to strengthen cell walls and their overall structures making it harder to destroy those cells as they attempt to freeze. Sugar (sucrose) will be directly absorbed by the plant making it higher in energy and somewhat lower in water content. When plants have a higher sugar to water content, the freezing point is lowered. Also, the material setting on the surface of the leaf makes it more difficult to allow crystals of ice to form. Pure water forms an ice crystal very easily, but organic structures dissolved in the water make crystal construction more difficult. Garden Vigor's MaxGrow
contains milk sugars to assist in the process of brix (sugar) construction in plants.
2. Spray boron as a foliar application on the surface of the leaves 48-72 hours prior to a frost. When boron is running high in plant tissue, the plant is moving sugars around more efficiently. The action of spraying boron on plants is an indirect way to cause higher sugar movement, thus keeping the sugar to water ratio that I mentioned previously at a higher level. Plants like cabbage and kale are naturally high consumers of boron, and it is for this reason that they are able to survive the first few frosts of the season. Garden Vigor's Emerald Mist
contains boron as one of its micronutrients.
None of these ideas will help plants survive a hard freeze (below 28 degrees F), but they will help keep them from going down as bad if you still want a little life out of them. Its always best to cover them with newspaper or a light sheet if possible to get the maximum safety from cold temperatures.