Does covering plants with sheets really help much with frost?
I took a few more pictures of the unprotected radishes, and those that were under thrift store sheets.
Though you’d think that a thin cotton sheet wouldn’t help that much when the temperature is 16 DEGREES below freezing… you need to see the difference. Now that the damage is really appearing, it’s startling.
First, here are the radishes which were unprotected.
Totally wrecked. Frozen stiff and ruined.
Yet here are the radishes a couple feet away which were under a single $2.99 sheet from the local thrift store:
It hit 16 degrees outside. That’s night just a light frost. More than that, the temperature stayed beneath freezing for over 48 hours.
Look here – side by side!
The edge of a sheet went right through the middle of that row. Incredible.
If we hadn’t run out of sheets, we would have covered the entire triple-row of radishes. However, having run out of sheets really gives us an idea of how very effective just throwing a sheet over the garden can be.
Also, mounding leaves over plants did quite well also:
There was some wind that blew the leaves around a bit, so you can see some frost damage at the edges; however, most of this plant was untouched.
It’s remarkable what a little protection can do.
We’ll see how our tropical trees fared, like this moringa inside a ring of wire and leaves:
Or the bananas out front.
I think they’ll be okay, but they’re definitely less cold hardy than brassicas like broccoli and radishes.
I hope we don’t get any more cold like that over the rest of the winter. It was truly crazy for this area.
Next year I will definitely have many more sheets ready. Since this worked so well, I imagine we could keep a healthy garden of vegetables running through the entire winter with about $40 more in thrift store sheets. I’ve done great in the past with these simple methods, but it’s quite gratifying to see them still work even when weather plunges to unexpected lows.