Row covers can protect spring plants from late frost or cold temps
When the temperatures warm up and spring begins, gardeners look forward to planting
fruits and vegetables, but those who live in an area where the weather changes quickly
– from summer to winter temps in a day – sowing seeds early can become costly, especially
if an unexpected frost kills young plants.
One way to offset potential damage is to use row covers. Some gardeners use floating
row covers or loose covers made from lightweight material found at online or local
retail garden centers.
Floating row covers can be draped over plants and held in place with spikes, bricks
or rocks. The covers allow sunlight to penetrate and air to circulate through to
the plants, but they also keep the temperatures warmer and the frost off.
Gardeners also may want to try plastic row covers that pop out like an accordion
with metal wires about every two feet for anchoring. This type of row cover, resembling
a small tunnel, helps protect young spring plants from cool temperatures and frost.
With the plastic tunnel cover, the gardener will need to check the inside temperature
to assure the plants don’t become too warm. Most tunnel covers allow for air circulation
by lifting the draping covers at the ends. These drapes can be lowered at night or
when the temperatures drop. Aside from protection, tunnel covers, too, allow for
much earlier planting.
Whichever type of row cover used, gardeners will find the covers typically last for
several seasons and also protect plants from pests.
Plastic row covers, such as the TunLcover™, allow sunlight to penetrate and protect spring plants from frost damage.