What To Do Before A Hard Freeze

The youngest daughter helping cover up for the freeze

Freezing temperatures are a fact of life- that is unless you live in a tropical paradise- that gardeners must deal with.

Now, if it is a first freeze then time will be spent scurrying around the gardens gathering up the last of the basil and peppers and tomatoes and such.  If you are dealing with the last freeze of the season, then you will probably be covering up young plants and fruit trees that my have blossomed too early.  But in either case or during the freezes in between, there is a lot of work involved.

Where we live in East Texas, we don’t get below freezing and stay there our ground doesn’t freeze and there is usually no more than an inch of ice on the water troughs.  So, there is a good deal of uncovering and covering that goes on through the winter months.

The following list is what we do to get ready for the freeze:

Freeze Prep List


Water all beds and pots and all containers in the greenhouse

Cover all plants that will be harmed by a freeze that you want to save and protect

Cover tender perennials with mulch



Fill goat house and pig house with hay

Stuff rabbit cages with hay

Fill chicken feeder

Add layer of fresh hay to chicken house

Turn on heat lamp for any chickens less than 6 weeks old.

If temps will be below 20’ add a heat lamp to coop

Fill all waterers full

Pull rabbits’ water bottles in just before dark and put them out again in the morning

Feed animals extra

Cover all screen doors with plastic.

Make certain all openings are covered and drafts are closed




Unhook all water hoses

Cover the faucets

Wrap exposed pipes in insulation

Put heat lamp in the pump house and the camp heater if needed

Close the door tight

Put all the wheelbarrows under cover or flip over so they don’t fill up with water

Walk the gardens and property and making certain all tools are put away in their proper places


This list usually takes about 3 hours to do and this is why not everyone is a farmer!