The winter is approaching, and the cold winter months can pose a significant challenge to gardeners and homesteaders in the northern States. Dropping temperatures, frosts, freezes, ice, and snowfall can put a damper on your gardening plans, threatening the health and vitality of your beloved plants. But fear not! An effective solution to this seasonal problem is extending the gardening season with plant covers.
The Problem: Winter Gardening Challenges
In some climate zones, winter is a harsh time for plants. The lack of sunlight and freezing temperatures can cause your plants to enter dormancy prematurely or eventually die. For gardeners and homesteaders, this can mean a decrease in crop yield and a loss of the vibrant greenery that provides vital nutrients through the winter months.
The Solution: Extending the Season with Plant Covers
Thankfully, there’s a way to combat the cold and keep your garden thriving throughout the winter. The solution is as simple as it is effective: plant covers.
Plant covers are designed to protect your plants from the harsh elements, creating a microclimate that provides warmth and insulation. These covers can be made from various materials, such as burlap, plastic, or special garden fabric, and they are available in different sizes to fit various types of plants. More often than not, these items are costly.
But, did you know that you can quickly and easily create an affordable solution with items you probably have lying around your house? Keep reading to learn more…
Benefits of Using Plant Covers:
1. Protection from Frosts and Hard Freezes: Plant covers protect your plants from frost damage by creating a barrier between the leaves and the cold air.
2. Increased Temperature: By trapping heat from the sun during the day, plant covers can help keep your plants warm even when the temperature outside drops. In turn, this also helps to keep the soil and roots warmer.
3. Extended Growing Season: With the use of plant covers, you can extend your growing season, allowing you to harvest crops later in the year.
Winter doesn’t have to spell the end of your gardening season. With plant covers, you can extend your growing season, protect your plants from the harsh winter elements, and ensure a bountiful harvest. Embrace the power of plant covers and turn the challenge of winter gardening into a rewarding experience.
Types Plant Covers:
- Low Tunnels
- Mobile Low Tunnels
- Tent House
- Hoop House
- Tomato Cage “Greenhouse”
- Custom Cage “Greenhouse”
- Instant Micro-Greenhouse
All of the ideas above are simply covered with some type of plastic. In addition to these simple builds, ground covers like mulch or plastic sheeting are used to help keep the warmth in.
If you’d like to learn step-by-step how to build all the options above, plus other simple and affordable plant cover solutions, check out The Grow Network’s Season Extension Weekend Project below.
The Grow Network is a global network of people who produce their own food and medicine. We’re the coolest bunch of backyard researchers on Earth! We’re constantly sharing, discovering, and working together to test new paths for sustainable living—while reconnecting with the “old ways” that are slipping away in our modern world. We value soil, water, sunlight, simplicity, sustainability, usefulness, and freedom. We strive to produce, prepare, and preserve our own food and medicine, and we hope you do, too!