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Winter Plant Protection

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/branch-frost-green-nature-268671/

In arid southern Africa there are many places where it can get really cold during the night. Some places get down to -10 degrees or less. Herewith some valuable insights on how to keep your plants snug and healthy during the cold months.

Covering Up with Care:

  1. Home Essentials: Grab those extra blankets, sheets, and old curtains that you’re not using for yourself. They’re like warm hugs for your plants, shielding them from the freezing cold.
  2. Smart DIY: Repurpose those empty 10kg mielie meal bags. Stitch them together to create protective sheets. Cover your plants in the evening and uncover them around 8 am – just like tucking them in at night and saying good morning.
  3. Special Attention: Treat delicate plants like spinach, tomatoes, beet greens, peppers, papayas, bananas, fig trees, and guavas with extra kindness. They need extra layers of protection when the nights get frosty.
  4. Nature’s Warm Embrace: If you stumble upon old grey hay bales or grass bales, build walls with them around your garden. It’s like building forts to keep the cold away.

Being a Friend to Young Trees and Shrubs:

  1. Cozy Wrapping: Imagine your young trees as babies in need of a snug wrap. Wrap their stems with newspaper layers, animal food bags, woven plastic, or even flat cartons. This shields their core from the frost, and they’ll bounce back when spring arrives.
  2. Smoke Signals: Think about setting up slow-burning fires in cut-open drums. The smoke thickens the air and acts like a cozy blanket for your plants.
  3. Watering Trick: When it’s cold, water your plants in the morning and don’t overdo it. Less water means less chance of frost damage. The soil gets time to warm up during the day.

The Magic of Mulch:

  1. Natural Insulation: Picture your plant’s roots snuggled beneath a comfy blanket. Spread leaves, grass, or bark around the base of your plants. This keeps their “feet” warm and safe from freezing soil.

Understanding Your Plants:

  1. Tough Plants: In our arid southern African region, some fruit trees like apple, peaches, pears, apricots, grape vines and palms can handle the cold. But don’t forget any of your plants. Treat them right – water them regularly, use mulch, and protect them with winter paste on their bark.

Stay warm and keep showing your plants some love – they’ll thank you with a vibrant and lively springtime show!

Source: NOA Whatsapp group

This is how one farmer covers up his fruit trees for the winter for the first 4 years. Roundbar frames with shadenet around and filled up with dry grass like a thick blanket.

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