No, you don’t have to cover your plants with blankets in winter. But you should take precautions to keep them comfortable and warm as freezing temperatures can kill the crop’s roots.
Some crops like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are receptive to temperature and light. The cooling temperatures with shorter days retard their vigor and growth.
Moreover, plants are more likely to affect by overhanging trees susceptible to dangling branches in snowstorms. So a little bit of preparation is a must. After all, it’s hard to see your plant babies dying at the end of the season.
However, it takes an immense effort throughout the year to nurture them and obtain the expected yield.
As winter is almost around the corner, you should take some steps to offer some insulation to ensure your plants will thrive in the fall and winter.
Although some of these precautions don’t have scientific explanations, it’s worth experimenting with, as there’s always a risk involved when it’s about nature.
You May Also Read: How to Prepare Your Lawn For Winter? Complete Guide
8 Ways to Keep Plants Warm in Winter
Frost, heavy snow, harsh winds, and rain–there are several reasons you don’t want to leave your plants out to shrink in freezing temperatures during the winter. So you can protect your plants in many ways, like warming the soil or blocking the wind.
Here are some ideas to keep them warm and cherry in the winter. Let’s find them out!
1. Wrap them with Blankets or Old Sheets
This is typically an old grandma trick–easy and free to do! You can cover your plant babies in blankets or old sheets, but ensure they aren’t touching the plants.
However, note that too-porous fabric usually lets moisture sneak into, thereby freezing the plants. But if that’s all you have now to provide support, go for it. Cover them with the fabric at night and remove them when the sun is up.
2. Put Them Against Your House For Heat
Here is another free choice that is backed up by some science! And this technique will work for potted plants only. You can assemble the pots and put them up against your house wall. So how does it works? The house accumulates heat all day long, and they radiate it from the external walls.
Eventually, they create a bit warmer microclimate for your plants. Covering the plants further with a blanket or sheet will add an extra layer of insulation.
3. Use Overturned Pots For Shelter
Take an empty pot and turn it upside down to cover them at night. Again remove the pot in the morning. This technique will be ideal for a small to medium lawn with a few short plants.
Europeans have utilized this variation on a hot cap or cloche for centuries to protect individual plants.
4. Give Row Covers a Try
Row covers are known to elevate temperatures from 2 to 8 degrees and warm the plants or crops below them. Although not too much, it’s sufficient to prevent the freezing of the plants.
However, you will find some row covers known as ‘frost blankets’ that can raise the temperature to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Get a Mini Greenhouse
For staunch gardeners serious about winter-lawn care, a mini greenhouse is ideally the best option. It can be a bit heavy for a pocket, but you can rest assured your plants won’t freeze in the coldest winter months.
However, you will also find affordable options made of plastics out there. They will do the work if you want to fetch some time for your plants.
6. Build Your Hoop Tunnels
You may have seen farmers avail of this technique. The fascinating fact about this technique is that you can create it on your own easily. Let’s find out how?
- Stick a tangible metal stake or thick gauge wire into the ground and form an arch.
- Shield the row or plastic covers over the top and fasten them using rocks or landscape pins.
Also Read: 7 Best Hoop House Greenhouse Kits
7. Invest in a Cold Frame
Cold frames can keep plants warmer than other techniques. They consist of a bottomless box and a plastic or glass top to allow sun rays to get in and out. Plus, they act as great ventilators on warm days.
However, a cold frame can overheat the plants on sunny days. Thus, you will need to keep track of the temperature daily. Well, you can propagate plants that can tolerate cooler temperatures in late summer inside a cold frame. However, they will yield results in early winter.
Cold frames also work great to kick start a spring garden as their base heats up quickly.
8. Use Mulch Or Hay To Insulate Plants
If applied, mulch or hay can hold moisture and heat to prevent the plant from freezing. Another great way to offer more cold protection is by filling jugs with warm water and putting them in the mulch.
Keep your Indoor Plants Warm in Winter
The first way you can opt to keep a cold space like an unheated mudroom warm is by setting bubble wraps on the windows. They help to elevate the room temperature up to 15 degrees F.
On the other hand, you can invest in a window insert. Like bubble wraps, window inserts can also offer excellent insulation in winter by increasing the room temperature during cold temperatures.
You can even use the space heater that you have in your room. The added benefit is that you can monitor the device, ensuring safety. A heat mat can also come in handy by offering added warmth to the soil.
They are perfect for cultivating seedlings in the fall and winter that will grow lush the following spring.
Factors to Consider While Warming your Plants in Winter
Preparing your garden or lawn is essential before the winter hits. It includes maintaining the appropriate temperature, the optimal storage indoor condition, and more.
You have to consider several factors while getting your plants indoors for warmth. Let’s check out the significant factors to consider below:
Maintain the Ideal Temperature
Three categories of houseplants include hardy, half-hardy and tender. And every category seeks different temperature needs.
For example, half-hardy plants need the temperature to be 15 degrees C (60-degree F). On the contrary, hardy plants need 7-degree C (45-degree F), and tender shrubs need 15 degrees C (60-degree F).
Every houseplant can’t thrive in low temperatures or winter hardy. It’s natural. For example, tender plants will seek heat in winter.
Some shrubs even shrink and die, dropping their leaves. So once the temperature drops, you will have to bring them inside to offer the warmth of your home.
This will ensure their survival and longevity.
Understand Their Unique Humidity Needs
Winter caring of plants isn’t any fuss. You will need a few supplies and knowledge to prevent them from drying and freezing in winter.
Kick-start the process by acknowledging the unique humidity needs of each plant variety in your lawn. For instance, some plants seek more moisture, whereas others love low humidity.
On the other hand, while non-tropical vegetation prefers lower humidity levels, tropical ones need high humidity to develop.
With this in mind, you can get a humidifier to add moisture to the cold and dry air inside your house in winter. If possible, you can place tropical and non-tropical plants in separate rooms to meet individual needs.
Try to check your babies regularly to assess their water, humidity, light, and warmth needs for optimum growth. But first, it’s imperative to determine how much water your plants will need, as indoor air remains quite dry in winter.
Next, avoid keeping the shrubs closer to windows and doors that cause cold drafts. This can retard their growth by drying out the air. The worst effect of cold is death. So make sure to keep tropical plants near a warm window.
Store Your Plants In Appropriate Places
It will depend on the plant varieties you want to store. For instance, the shrubs like snake plants and paddles will need a heated room to survive, while tuberose can tolerate a breezy garage.
However, avoid storing the plants closer to heating vents as they can form too dry conditions, causing fatal results.
Another recommended place to store smaller flora in the winter is a windowsill. Here you have to be conscious of the amount of light entering through the window you place the plants.
Some greenery thrives in high levels of sunlight, while others prefer indirect sun rays. Researching your plants will help you choose the appropriate storage place indoors to offer optimal growing conditions.
You can keep succulents or similar houseplants on kitchen windowsills. The plants will enjoy abundant fresh air in colder months.
The root can rot due to over-watering, so be aware of it. Unfortunately, you may not understand your plant is undergoing this issue until it’s too late. A good indicator is yellow leaves. If you see the leaves turning yellow, it’s most probably due to over-watering. Eventually, go for less watering.
On the contrary, if your plants’ leaves are dropping, it may indicate they aren’t getting sufficient light or water. So ensure you are not depriving your plants of the necessary moisture by under-watering them.
Likewise, if the top inch of the soil is dry, it signifies the foliage needs water. Nevertheless, most plants typically seek deep watering, so look at the labels to acknowledge water needs.
The amount of light required will also vary from one plant to another. Verify your houseplants’ labels to know what they need – indirect light, intense light, or something in between.
If your house doesn’t have sufficient light, you might need a piece of equipment to cater to the plant’s light needs. Fluorescent or grow light bulbs are even a great source of light.
It’s essential to take proper care of your plants indoors or outdoors throughout the winter. Besides the strategies mentioned above, you should also fertilize the soil for adequate nutrition.
First, apprehend the shrubberies or plants in your lawn and their suitable growing conditions, including light, water, and heat level needs. Then, place them strategically in appropriate situations and examine them frequently.
Finally, keep your plants well-watered and nourished, as they tend to freeze in colder months. Eventually, you will enjoy their beauty throughout the season.