Making sure your crops are thriving and growing throughout the year all starts with protecting them when it gets cold. Frost can do serious damage to your seeds, and when it comes to farming, any damage to those can lead to catastrophic effects. So, read on for some of the seed protection methods that you need to try out this year to get the best out of your crops.
Warming your soil
Soil that has been icy or extremely cold for a while is not ideal for your plants. It can take a long time for your soil to warm up, but there are ways to make this quicker. You could try covering the soil with row cover, black plastic or horticultural fleece. Any of these will work well, especially if you are trying to warm clay soils or heavy soils, as they can help to warm the environment below them and, in turn, return the warmth to your soil much more quickly.
Seedlings are especially vulnerable when they are first planted and so any extra protection you can give them is a good idea to make sure they begin to grow well. This is especially important if it gets cold. You can try using a fleece or plastic to cover over your seedlings or make a protective cover using plastic bottles. Simply cut the bottle in two and use the top part to cover the seedling. It can help to take the lid off during hotter days and make sure it is on when the weather is cooler.
Another way that water bottles can help is by warming your plants. Fill them with water and place them around your plants. During the day, they will heat up due to the natural warmth of the air, absorbing heat. Later, they will release this heat and stop the soil from getting too cold. This works especially well in greenhouses.
Using polystyrene is also a good idea when it comes to protecting your seedlings. The white colour means that light bounces off of the walls and back towards the plants in the box, promoting even growth and stopping extreme temperature changes. When it is especially cold, this makes it easier to protect plants as you can simply put a lid on the box.