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How to Protect Plants from the Cold

If your weather is a bit too cold or your plants are a bit too tender, you'll need to help your garden through the winter. It all depends on how vulnerable the plants are, how cold the weather is, the length of the cold season and how much energy and trouble you want to spend. Let's share the tips of protecting plants from the cold winter with you:

1.Choose plants that are suited to your climate

This is the simplest, lowest-effort choice, as long as you can plan ahead. Learn your which growing zone you are in (if your country has such a classification system; the US system is coordinated by the USDA) or at least your likely low and high temperatures for the year and choose plants that can withstand those temperatures. 

2.Keep Composting

Composting slows down as the temperature plummets in winter, however it doesn’t mean that you should stop adding kitchen scraps to the heap. We’re very keen composters and are expanding the large compost bin to allow for a second heap to get started in winter which will be finished and ready to spread on the garden next fall.

3.Build New Beds

If you live in a more temperate area you can start making new beds for your vegetable garden now. Raised beds are easy to make and can be made relatively inexpensively if you have plenty of homemade compost. If you don’t have any compost, you can usually pick it up quite cheap from the city landfill. If you must buy the compost in bags, you can use other organic material or mulches to fill the bed to break down over winter before spring to make it cheaper.

4.Water your plants

Heavily water the soil around your plants prior to a very cold night or freeze. The soil will trap the heat better wet than when it is dry, and evaporate slowly which warms the air around the plants. 

5.Apply a layer of mulch or weed fabric

Mulch acts as an insulator, holding in heat and moisture in the soil. It is used to protect the root systems of your plants from cold temperatures. Sometimes the cold temperature is not what damages the plant, but rather the freeze/thaw cycle affecting the soil and causing it to "heave" the plant. Similarly, the cold soil can prevent water from easily being drawn up from the plant. 

6.Cover your plants.

Throw an old blanket, drop cloth, or tarp over tender plants. If you need to protect your plants from a small number of especially cold nights, a simple shelter such as an old blanket may be enough.Choose your covering, and then carefully spread it out so that it is not touching any of the leaves or branches of your plant. You may need to use a few stakes to prop it up; otherwise, it can damage the plant. This method works best to protect from frost rather than cold temperatures, as the covering won’t increase the temperature too much.

  • Jan 18, 2021
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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