Friday, April 6, 2012

Creative Crop Covers

We had a freeze warning this morning.  As I am writing this, it is probable freezing outside even (I'm scared to look).  Fortunately, I monitor the weather and new this ahead of time so I could cover my garden to give my plants protection.  I put stuff on the plants to cover them when it was still light enough out that the sun would heat up the air and ground under the covers and kind of create a mini-greenhouse effect, without the expense of a greenhouse.  Here's what I used:

Here, ordinary plastic shopping bags cover  2-gallon pots and window boxes
Plastic milk jugs or juice bottles with the bottoms cut out of them make perfect free cloches for these broccoli seedlings.
Clear plastic sheeting (a drop cloth, maybe?) makes a great garden protection (that's actually the same piece of plastic that covered the front garden box and kept its contents alive all winter)....
but any color will do, even black.  I just need to make sure to uncover this as soon as possible in the morning so the plants don't cook once the sun is hitting it directly again!
Tarps offer a little heavier duty protection, as do blankets of any sort, such as the fleece ones here.   I didn't bother covering my berry bushes since, being relatively native (?) to this habitat, I'm pretty confident they can handle it and I didn't cover the chives because I'm pretty sure chives are indestructible!
I've also used plastic wrap tacked into place to protect plants on some really cold nights, but a lot of my plants are already getting too big for that!

Oh, and I bit the proverbial bullet and checked the temperature outside:  it is currently 32 degrees out (as of 1am), with a lot of hours of night left to go.  It might get as low as the lower 20s this morning, so let's hope my "crop condoms" are enough!

1 comment:

  1. LOL... Being in New England, nothing is yet outside (well, we did plant some sunflower seeds when it was 80F out, but they won't sprout for ages yet). I had taken out the seedling trays when it was really warm but brought them all in again (with a pout) when the temps dropped. We're currently getting 25F nights basically, and 50F days, so still not warm enough for most things. I hope to maybe (maybe? pretty please? lol) plant peas and early cabbage next week, but they go right in the ground and don't care about the cold.