What Is Overwintering?
Overwintering plants are those which have been planted in a greenhouse or other cold environment. They are usually grown from seeds, but some of them come from cuttings. These plants will not grow normally if they do not get enough sunlight during wintertime. If these plants cannot survive without light, then they will die. There are many reasons why your garden might need to be overwintered. You may want to protect your plants from frost, or you may want to keep them alive so that they produce fruit in the spring. Whatever reason you have for wanting to overwinter your plants, it is very important that you understand what exactly is meant by “overwintering”.
Why Do I Need To Overwinter My Garden?
The main reason why you would want to overwinter your garden is because it is hard to predict when the weather will change. For example, if you live in a region where there are frequent snowstorms, then it might take several days before the temperature drops below freezing. During such periods, it could be dangerous for your plants to remain outside during the day time. You will also have to consider their food supply, which may not last that long if there are more days before the next harvest. Finally, there is also the issue with sunlight, which not only encourages growth but also helps prevent frost from occurring. If you want your garden to survive until spring, then it is very important that you understand the concept of “overwintering” and how this can protect your plants.
There are many reasons why your plants might need to be protected from frost. The first reason is quite obvious: if the temperature drops too low, then it can kill your plants. Even if you have created the right conditions for your garden to grow, this will not matter if the cold kills everything.
Another reason why you might want to protect your plants from frost is because they could otherwise become deformed. This could even cause them to rot and become ultimately useless. Finally, even if your plants do not die from the cold, they may still not grow properly. If this occurs, then you will have to wait before they can be of any use to you.
How Can I Protect My Plants From Freezing?
There are several ways in which you can protect your plants from freezing:
This method involves placing your garden in an unheated greenhouse or other outdoor structure that is covered. The cover must be thick enough so that sunlight does not leak through. In addition, you must make sure that the temperature does not become too hot, otherwise your plants will also come to harm.
A second method is to line the bottom of your garden bed with a thick layer of mulch. The mulch should be around 5cm deep and able to keep the earth from freezing when the temperature drops. The third method is to create a simple cloche structure by placing hoops over your plants.
This involves placing a thick layer of mulch around your plants. The mulch will help to maintain the temperature so that it doesn’t drop below freezing, which would kill your plants. If there are any young seedlings, they may be damaged or even killed by the freezing weather.
Larger plants may survive, but they are more likely to become deformed and useless.
This is less effective than the other two methods since it does nothing to protect your plants from the cold. However, if you are really struggling for time and need to protect your plants by any means necessary, then simply covering them in mulch can help to insulate them.
Simple Cloche Structure
This is perhaps the easiest method for protecting your garden from freezing temperatures. First of all, you will need to create a hoop using flexible pipe or tubing. You may need two layers of this depending on the size of your garden.
Attach one end of the pipe to the base of a wooden board complete with a lip at the bottom. The lip should be deep enough that it can rest on the ground and hold the pipe in an upright position. Connect the top end of the pipe to the other section of pipe using cable ties or some other fastener. You should leave around 30cm between the two hoops.
You may then place plastic sheeting or a large blanket over the top hoop and draping down the sides. Use more cable ties or rope to fasten the sheeting firmly in place. If you are using a blanket, you can simply weigh it down using rocks placed on the edges.
It is also a good idea to finish off the edges neatly so that they are not exposed, which would allow cold air to seep in.
You may need to place a layer of thick mulch under the sheeting to ensure that the ground does not freeze. Otherwise, the sheeting may act like an insulating blanket and keep the heat in rather than letting it escape.
You can use bricks or flat stones to hold down or weigh down the edges of the sheeting. Be sure that there are no holes or tears in the sheeting as the cold will still seep through.
The cloche can be removed once the worst of the cold weather has passed and you wish to start planting new seeds or seedlings. It can be placed over plants that have already been planted, but be aware that it will restrict their growth. It can take up to two weeks before the temperature is warm enough that you can remove the cloche entirely.
Sources & references used in this article:
Host plants distribution and overwintering of cotton mealybug (Phenacoccus solenopsis; Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). by G Abbas, MJ Arif, A Muhammad… – International Journal of …, 2010 – cabdirect.org
Antifreeze proteins in overwintering plants: a tale of two activities by M Griffith, MWF Yaish – Trends in plant science, 2004 – Elsevier
Photosynthesis of overwintering evergreen plants by G Öquist, NPA Huner – Annual review of plant biology, 2003 – annualreviews.org
Photosynthesis and photoprotection in overwintering plants by WW Adams Iii, B Demmig‐Adams, TN Rosenstiel… – Plant …, 2002 – Wiley Online Library