Transplants are a great way to start a garden quickly and get a crop sooner than you could by growing from seeds. These are smaller plants that can be purchased from a garden center or online. Despite the limited variety, seedlings are still cheaper and easier to care for than seeds.
Transplants must be started in a protected environment six to eight weeks before the desired transplanting date. After transplanting, the seedlings should be gradually introduced to their garden environment, gradually increasing their exposure to sunlight for longer periods.
In wintertime, hardy vegetables are plants that can withstand temperatures in the upper teens or low 20s Fahrenheit. These include spinach, kale, mustard greens, and other vegetables that thrive in cold weather. Alternatively, you could opt for semi-hardy vegetables that will withstand light frosts. These include leaf lettuces, arugula, endive, Swiss chard, and beets. Click here for more options.
Plant Coverings That Protect Vegetables From Animals
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on vegetables at the grocery store during the winter, you can cover your plants. These covers provide frost protection and extend your growing season. They can even extend your harvesting season, which can be good news if you love to cook and share your home-grown vegetables. A sturdy metal cover is a good choice for protecting vegetables from critters.
Row Covers Can Protect Your Newly-Planted Vegetables From Frosts Of Two To Five Degrees Below Freezing
A floating row cover protects your vegetables from frosts up to twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. The best cover for a frost is a slitted row cover. In addition to flopping row covers, floating row covers are a good choice for frost protection below 30 degrees. However, they can’t protect your crops below 28 degrees F.
It Is Possible To Extend Your Harvest By Protecting Your Plants In The Fall
Most vegetable gardeners still have a few crops to harvest. You can protect root crops with a mini tunnel, or cover them with mulch. Even if you don’t plan to harvest anything in the fall, protecting them can help them survive. In fact, protecting your plants will increase their yields by weeks or months. For even more protection, invest in a straw bale cold frame.
While you’re at it, consider preparing your vegetable and fruit gardens for the winter months. If you’re unable to grow any of your favorite crops in the summer months, consider planting winter-hardy varieties. Unlike in the summer, your vegetables won’t require as much water in the winter months, but you can still water them during the warmest part of the day. Don’t water your leaves, though – they might get wet and clogged with frost.
Avoid Damaging Them By Harvesting Them Before The Frost Reaches Them
If you’re in a climate where the winter months are harsh one, you should protect your vegetable and fruit gardens. Avoid damaging them by harvesting them before the frost reaches them. If you don’t want to ruin your beautiful winter veggies, you can build your own cold frame. Transparent materials let in light and help them survive freezing temperatures. You can also use a polyethylene tunnel to protect your plants from the extreme temperatures. Click here to learn more.
In colder regions, it may be necessary to cover the soil in order to prevent frost damage on your vegetables. Some vegetables can tolerate cold temperatures, but they won’t grow well. While a frost may kill them, some vegetables won’t. Winter squash and pumpkins can survive light frost, but muskmelons need to be slipped off the vine. Row covers or blankets can help trap heat and prevent frost damage. They will also help prevent an early freeze.