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If you’re a gardener and you grow your own vegetables, then the winter season can be a bit of a headache for you. As cold and dryness is not ideal for most of the vegetables you grow in your backyard. Still it doesn’t mean your vegetable nursery must be vacant.
Your plant needs water to stay hydrated and sunlight to stay warm. But during fall, they don’t get enough sunlight and piles of frost comes in addition to it. Normally there are some selected vegetables which you can grow during winter.
The likes of carrots, radishes, brussels sprouts, cabbages etc. are the ideal vegetables for winter. Because all these vegetables can withstand extreme amount of cold.
Today I’m not going to talk about which vegetable you can grow even in the winter but how you can protect a non-winter friendly vegetable in that cold situation like Tomato.
Tomato is not particularly a winter crop. So, if your nursery has some tomato plants in it and it’s that time of the year, when your neighborhood is likely going to be under the snow, then your plants are in danger.
But you if you are on the verge of getting ripe tomatoes when the frost starts threatening you then it’s hard to let go. So, you must fight for your plants and outsmart the danger with some precautions.
In today’s article I am going to share some precaution idea you can work with to protect your tomato plants even from the mighty frost.
Things I’ll discuss in here:
Understanding the Danger Is Important
Now at first you must know what danger your tomato plants can be in due to the frost. Because without knowing what you are up against it’s tough to plan ahead.
- Firstly, the growth of the plant will be halt due to cold.
- Secondly, the frost can dampen the power to ripe so even if you have some healthy green tomatoes it may not ripe. It can kill some ripening enzymes.
- Lastly, the cold can spoil your ripen tomatoes sooner than expected.
Now the Solution Part
Enough with the problems. Now let’s move to the solution part. As I said earlier, precaution can outscore dangers. So here are some ways you can follow to save your precious tomatoes from getting wasted.
Floating Row Cover in The Rescue
If you planted your tomato plants in a row wise formation, then using a row cover is best and easiest method for you during those cold and frosty days. You can just cover the whole row of plants with a floating row. It won’t allow the frost to get inside. It is made of polypropylene fabric and is available at any nursery or garden retailer.
Wall-O-Water Is Amazing
It is a set of self-standing clear tubes that will surround a tomato plant. Water will be inside those tubes and it will collect heat during the day from the sunlight. In the night, it will radiate the heat to keep the plant warm. It can be effective in the temperature as low as 16°F.
Fight with Early Fall Frost
Sometimes frost can come as a bit of a surprise in the early fall time. In this period, the size of the plant is ought to be big. In this situation, a light, big bed sheet can be proved useful to cover those big plants from every side.
Another way to avoid the early fall frost damage is to harvest. You can just collect those tomatoes and they will continue to ripe for several days even in your kitchen.
Bubble Wrap Can Wrap It Fast
Bubble wrap is one of the most amazing things to use as a frost shield. You can purchase it from any office supply store or where you buy your moving supplies from. It is also inexpensive and reusable. It can provide cover for multiple plants.
To use it you just need to get some wooden or metal tomato cage. After using the cage above the plant just wrap it from every side properly and pound them into the ground if the plant size is big. If the frost is gone then keep it in storage to use it later.
Containers Contains Some Tricks
Using milk jugs as shield is also a good option. Just collect some containers, cut them from the bottom but keep the cap on and use it to cover the plants. It will keep the heat inside and will keep the plant warm.
In these methods, one thing is common. That is don’t let the cover to touch the plant or the savior will become the killer. If the cover touches the plant, then it alone can damage the whole plant. Also, put those covers on later in the afternoon and don’t forget to remove them in the morning. They need sunlight to evaporate the saggy weather caused by the covers.
So, now you know how you can protect your tomato plants from frost and enjoy some nicely ripen tomatoes even in the winter.