Posted on October 15, 2010
There are tons of different ways to keep plants warm and protected from frost or cold weather. You can use everything from blankets to greenhouses. I think all the different methods work to some degree, some better than others, however it’s finding the method that fits your needs the best. What I mean by that is that everyone gardens differently and is looking for the best method for them. For example, someone people only have time to garden after work while others may be retired and have the time to garden throughout the entire day. Different circumstances require different gardening methods and tools. For myself, I can only garden in the evenings and the weekends. I don’t have time in the morning to check out the garden and see how it’s doing. This is why I do not use plant blankets or other plant covers that are not transparent. Because if I were to put a blanket on my garden at night, I wouldn’t have time in the morning to take it off and the plants would cook and die because of the hot sun shining down on the blanket all day and the little air circulation. I like using the plastic cloches for protection. Because for my schedule, I can put the cloche over the plant in the evening, leave the vent open and not have to worry about it. I know I don’t need to take it off in the morning or worry that it’s going to blow away and I know that air will be able to circulate. I also like the fact that the plastic cloches work well on both plants in my garden and potted plants.
I’m not saying plastic garden cloches are the best method for all gardeners, but it is the best method for the way I garden. Others like poly tunnel cloches because it’s like a one time investment, in that you build it once and your garden will stay protected from the harsh elements. There’s not really any maintenance with covering and uncovering after it’s been built – it stays covered and your plants stay warm. Others that have container gardens may like cold frames because it’s easy to move their potted plants inside the frame. Each method is different but all serve the same purpose of protecting your plants.
When it comes to gardening, there are a lot of methods because there are a lot of variables – zone, soil, humidity, climate, sunlight, plant species, harvest time, etc. It comes down to finding the best methods for your garden and your circumstances to control those variables.