What Garden Frost Protection Is Right For Me?
What Frost Protection Is Right For Me?
When the temperature drops and the cold and ice is beginning to settle, it is important that your crops, whatever they may be, are protected from the harsh British winter. Although it may seem easier to stay indoors in the warm, there are still plenty of ways in which you can get out in the garden and protect your plants, fruit or vegetables. There are many types of frost protection that will enable you to do this.
Heavy duty 30g garden fleece is a popular and common way to protect your crop in the winter months. Crucially, the fleece can protect from temperatures as low as -6°C, which is useful given the weather in the UK! If you have any tender plants or vegetables such as early potatoes, this fleece will be perfect to protect them. It is UV stabilised and is made from spun bonded polypropylene. When there are more extreme weather conditions, such as snow or hail, the fleece will protect your crop from any major damage, enabling your crop not only to survive, but thrive come the springtime. Also, when there is any extreme wind, the fleece will protect and even enhance the growing rates of your crops, as especially strong wind has the potential to damage or even destroy your crops.
There are further benefits to garden fleece also. It can protect your soil that is protected underneath. If there is damage to the soil caused by heavy rain and snow over winter, seed emergence can be limited, meaning it can be harder to grow your crops moving forward over spring and summertime. It can also act as an excellent physical barrier between your crops and pests. If your crops have the correct covering, they will be less susceptible to garden pests, giving them a much better chance of surviving.
Fleece can also be used in greenhouses, giving them a ‘double glazing’ effect. It is very easy to use, secure and put away. It can be attached to glazing bars using clips or double-sided sticky pads. Garden fleece, if treated with care, can be re-used many times, making it a perfect durable item for your garden over the colder months. It comes in a variety of sizes; however it can be easily cut with scissors, making it flexible for what you require for your garden.
Our fleece bags are made from the same material as the 30g fleece; however they are a slightly thicker and can protect your plants or trees from temperatures as low as -8°C. The bags come complete with a drawstring at the bottom, making it very easy to simply place over your plants. Simply pull the drawstring and your plants will be protected. This makes it equally as easy to remove, loosen the drawstring and remove from your plants when the weather is starting to get warmer. It is important that you do not have these fleece bags over your plants when the temperature is too high, otherwise your plants will, unfortunately, die.
Fleece bags will block out 25% of the sunlight. Water will still go through the bag however depending on the weather it may still be important to water your plants. The bags can be washed in a washing machine on a ‘wool’ wash.
Thermacrop has all the benefits of the 30g garden fleece however it is easier to handle and is a longer lasting fabric; it has a life expectancy of 5 years. It is made from woven strips of a very soft polyethylene. Not only will it protect your crops, but it will also encourage the growth of seeds and young plants. It will enable you to protect your crops from temperatures as low as -3°C. Similar to the fleece, water, air and light will pass through the material and it can be washed in a washing machine on a ‘wool’ wash. It is important to note that crops should not be remained covered for any longer than 8 weeks, otherwise there will be the potential issue of ‘suffocating’ your crop that you will have worked hard to protect over winter.
The polythene plant protection is UV stabilised and is a lightweight 150 gauge. It is ideal for placing directly over your plants or hoops. Lasting for up to 5 years, it has many different uses around the garden, however its primary use is to protect plants from the wind, rain, snow and frost. Similar to the garden fleece, it will form and physical barrier between your crops and garden pests. It will also keep small birds away from your crop. The polythene will create a microclimate underneath, which will hep bring on young crops.
Cloches are an important way to look after your plants in the winter months. They function in a similar way to the fleece, thermacrop and polythene however on a much smaller scale, even for just individual plants. They are very portable and are simple to pick up and move to any location that you require. Cloches are perfect for warming the soil as well as encouraging a stable, healthy growth of seedlings and tender plants.
If you live in a windy area, you can hold the cloches down with steel pegs which will enhance the stability of the cloches on the ground. If you want to conserve warmth, simply keep the ventilator at the top of the cloche closed. When the weather starts to get warmer, you can either leave the ventilator slightly open or opened the whole way. As well offering frost protection, the cloches will actually encourage the earlier flowering of your crops as it keeps the soil warm and humid. Cloches are especially perfect for the early growing of fruits such strawberries, as well as growth of vegetables, salads and herbs.