Why use frost blankets?
You might ask the question, why use frost blankets and not just cover your plants with whatever piece of clothing you have laying around the house? The answer is simple. The blanket has been designed specifically to meet the needs of your plants. They are lightweight so they don’t crush or choke the plant and they also allow sunlight to penetrate the fabric so you can have frost blankets on your plants for extended periods of time and have no worries. You can even water the plants through the blankets. You run the risk of actually dealing more damage to your plants if you use just any material especially those made of plastic to cover your plants as they can help in the transmission of cold to the plants.
What you need to know
You need to understand the dynamics of heat transfer to and fro the soil to get the most value from your frost blanket. Warm air rises
from the ground up and at night after the sun has set, the ground emits all the heat it trapped during the day. Just before sunrise, the temperatures are coldest because all of the trapped heat must have been lost. So remember that hot air emits into the atmosphere and cold air settles. This will help you understand the importance of placing the cloth the right way.
Also you can help the soil absorb or store more heat during the day by keeping it moist. This is achieved by watering the area around the plant just enough to make it moist. Dehydration is also a major issue when temperatures start to drop to very low levels so it is important to protect the plants form extra frost damage as a result of dehydration.
How to Use the Frost blanket
It is very important that you use the frost blanket in the right way to avoid running into problems or making it ineffective. Follow these few simple guides and you should be on track.
Make sure you cover the plant completely from top to bottom and leave no open spaces.
Ensure that you use the blanket just before the sun goes down. This is to ensure that the blanket collects all the heat that has been stored up in the ground in the daytime.
Make absolutely sure that the frost blanket touches the ground up to the drip line of the plant. You can also place heavy stuff on the cloth to make sure it stays in place at the bottom as this will create an adequate seal to trap in warm air that was gathered during the daytime. These holds will also keep the cloth firmly in place in the event of a strong wind.