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Frost Protection Fabrics

If you’re trying to hang on to your winter garden for just a few more weeks, frost protection is certainly on your “to do” list. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of different frost protection fabrics.

If you’re trying to hang on to your winter garden for just a few more weeks, frost protection is certainly on your “to do” list. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of different frost protection fabrics.

The basics of frost protection are to cover your plants to keep freezing air from getting near plants as they exhale water during the cool overnight temperatures. Generally this is achieved by placing a sheet of fabric or plastic over the plants. Different fabrics have slightly different effects.

Plastic: While not a fabric at all, clear plastic sheets are often used in frost protection. They don’t provide much in the way of warmth, but they do cover and can provide a bit of a “greenhouse effect” when the sun comes up in the morning. But, that greenhouse effect melts the frozen moisture that sticks to the inside of the plastic, and cold water will slide off onto your plants when the light comes out, causing more harm than good. If you must use plastic, use it only with light frosts and remove it as soon as possible in the morning.

Cotton sheets: Sheets are easy to come by and are a great size for covering everything from garden beds to trees. Since sheets are generally thin, they don’t provide a ton of insulation, so use them for light frosts only.

Burlap: Thick and breathable, burlap is a smart choice to fully cover and protect your plants. One caveat–be careful when setting it down, as the thick fabric can crush lightweight plants.

 

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