How to Protect Plants from Winter wind, the intense rain and the cold can be a challenge for your plants, especially when it happens as the winter season. The plants remain as out of place. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind that just as we run to remove the sweaters and scarves, we must prepare our plants to overcome the cold.
How to protect your plants from winter season
- The plants grow more and better: Many of the autumn-winter crops endure up to -1ºC without problems once well established, many of them, up to -4ºC. But until I got a greenhouse I did not realize the difference in growth that it meant, everything grew much faster! What’s more, the greenhouse allows me to plant things that theoretically cannot be planted in the winter months, such as arugula, because it raises the soil temperature by a few degrees.
- I have tropical whims: Among them, avocado in a pot, that when I forget to cover it the poor one resents me (see below, in the bubble section).
- Extended seasons: Apart from what I have said before the arugula, these techniques allow me to enjoy my summer crops, such as my chili and basil plants for much longer, which last healthy and strong for much longer. This winter I intend to experiment a little and see how long I can keep them, I will inform you.
So although in your area you can enjoy mild winters, I strongly advise you to keep these tips in mind, you will notice the difference!
Get a greenhouse
Certain plants will survive better with the help of a greenhouse that increases the temperature of the soil and air around them by a couple of degrees. This will allow you to extend the life of your peppers -for example- a few more months. And enjoy more productive harvests in very cold areas.
Tip: Place the greenhouse in a sunny area protected from the wind.
There are many options: for the cultivation tables, my favorite is the accordion, which is easy to remove when necessary.
If your crop is in pots, sometimes it is as simple as putting them in the house on the coldest days, or simply giving them shelter in a greenhouse with shelves, like the one in the photograph above.
Decrease irrigation and fertilizer
At this point of the year, it is better to avoid fertilizers of fast assimilation (these should be reserved for spring). These fertilizers are characterized by giving an extra contribution of nutrients that are very easily absorbed and assimilated by the plant, producing a very fast important growth.
The problem with this is that these new buds and leaves of the plant, so young and tender, are very sensitive to possible frosts. The best option, reduce the amount of usual fertilizer to decrease the growth of the plant and change it to one of slow assimilation, which releases the nutrients little by little. In Plantae, you can find two very good options for this: the liquid humus, and a seaweed-based fertilizer.
Isolate your flowerpots
Do you live in a cold area? Do you have pots too big to move to a more sheltered site? Do you simply have an avocado tree or a fig tree that you do not know how your first winter will be? Wrap the flowerpot in bubble wrap! It will protect the roots of frost keeping the soil temperature stable!
Apply a layer of compost or a black agricultural film
I will never tire of spreading the thousand and one advantages of quilting. In summer, it protects the soil from the rays of the sun, decreasing temperature, and evaporation, but in winter it retains the heat of the soil and stabilizes the temperature in the face of sudden changes in the weather. Apply a layer of compost or a black agricultural film as the dark colors of these materials will help attract more sunlight.
Avoid pruning until the risk of frost has passed, this is for the same reason that it is important not to fertilize and water in excess, pruning favors the growth of plants, putting at risk the delicate new shoots that have not yet generated their defenses against the cold.
Place thermal blankets
Well-designed protective walls can be a very powerful weapon against frost and strong northern winds. With them, we managed to create microclimates perfectly suited for the most delicate plants.