Frost Protection

Jun

8

Frost Protection

It’s Time to Pull Up the Blankets and Tuck Your Garden in for Winter!   The first cool and frosty weather has arrived, heralding a little time of rest for the garden and the gardener, although there are still some work to be done through the season.

Frost Protection:  In very cold areas, the best protection is frost cloth that is stocked by the metre in garden centres.  When laying frost cloth over your plants, make sure that it will not hurt the plants where it touches. An effective way to keep the cloth off sensitive plants is to first make a wire protection and lay the frost cloth over it.  Ideally, the frost cloth should be removed each day for a time to allow in the sun. Taller plants can be protected by placing tall sticks or poles around the plant and wrapping the frost cloth around the sticks.  The top can be left open on condition that the cloth is higher than the plant.  Hessian or straw mulch can also be used.  Generally frost occurs when zero or below zero temperatures occur, but this also depends on the dew and the wind.  A light wind may prevent frost but a very cold wind can cause black frost.

In very cold areas it is possible to extend the season by making small plastic tunnels or coverings that act as mini greenhouses.  The aim is to moderate the very low night temperatures by letting the sun warm the soil during the day.   Plants and veggies that tend to “stand still” over winter, will grow better under these conditions.  Another way to extend the season for herbs and veggies is to sow in trays or pots and germinate them in warm, protected areas.  Veggies & herbs:  lettuce, baby spinach, rocket coriander, thyme, parsley, oregano, marjoram, chives, coriander.  Keep the pots in a warm, draught-free area.

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