Protecting your Plants
Does covering your plants really help?
The winter of 2020 - 2021 brought us many surprises and along with Covid came 9 days of below freezing temperatures to Oklahoma. This led to some experimenting with our methods of cold or winter protection. I placed wifi recording devices under different methods of coverings and here are the results over 9 days of testing.
The air in a non-heated greenhouse covered with a single layer of 3 mil poly maintained a 7-degree warmer temperature than the ambient outside temperature. Draping plants with a single layer of 3 mil poly or 3 oz. winter blanket resulted in a 7-degree warmer temperature than outside. I also double covered plants by draping plants with a single layer of 3 mil poly or 3 oz. winter blanket inside a 3mil covered poly house and the result was a 12-degree warmer air space below the coverings than the outside temperature. In summery any covering will provide 7 degrees protection and double layers of covering will provide up to 12 degrees of cold protection. Of course, this in not groundbreaking information, but actually knowing the amount of protection that can be achieved with a simple layer of covering helps the plants remain healthier through the cold winter blasts and reassures us we are doing the right thing.