Has summer turned its back on us already? Cripes, that was fast! The diligent homesteader has likely enjoyed a spring and summer of healthy yields and bountiful harvests. He or she has taken steps to preserve that which they couldn’t consume straight away to prepare for the more meager seasons. Whatever you couldn’t eat has been frozen, pickled, or otherwise preserved. The cold weather is making its inexorable way towards us. We must now start to take steps to not only protect our animals but to insulate our crops from the coming rigors of fall and winter. Here we’ll look at some ways in which you can prevent the cold from capturing the cream of your crop. Then you can pave the way for happy, full and completely self-sufficient bellies over the coming colder months. Let’s take a look at how to protect your crops in those colder climates.
How to Protect Your Crops In Colder Climates
Frost fans are a vital method of frost prevention. They can be the savior of high yield homesteads. The great thing about frost fans is that whatever crops you grow, whatever continent you inhabit and whatever your local climate or topography, there’s a fan to suit your needs. They may require an upfront investment. And they may require some maintenance and service. Although, there are few more comprehensive ways to protect your crops from the ravages of icy winds, frost, and snow.
Outdoor lamps are not only a great way to deter human trespassers and startle away any animals that may have snuck their way into your homestead. They can also prevent frost damage and protect your crops. A hardy 100-watt lamp designed for exterior use attached to a tree can raise the ambient temperature enough to protect your crops from frost damage.
Cover up your greens
Even relatively hardy crops like green leafy vegetables can be decimated by a particularly cold snap. While a little ground frost can be beneficial for these veggies and even improve their flavor, extreme cold can seriously damage your green crops. Thus, a micro mesh winter tunnel is recommended to keep your greens at an optimal temperature even on the coldest nights. This a great way to protect your crops.
Tuck your carrots in at night
Semi-hardy veggies like carrots, parsnips, peas and Swiss chard may be able to weather mild frosts with relative ease. But as the nights grow darker and colder you may want to consider tucking them in at night like the precious little darlings that they are. Old bedsheets, burlap or commercial frost blankets should be used to protect your crops. Cloth covers help to trap heat coming from the soil. Ensure, however, that the covers do not touch the plants directly as contact with heavy rains or snow may be damaging to them.
Spray on an anti-transpirant
In colder climates, your veggies may struggle to retain ambient moisture during cold and dry spells. An anti-transpirant (readily available in any garden center) will coat your plants in a light polymer that will help them to better retain moisture. Just one application can protect your crops for up to three months.
Just because summer is receding doesn’t mean that your crops should suffer.
Thanks for sharing your timely methods on the Homestead Blog Hop. I hope you can join us each Wednesday!
Thanks so much, Lesa! And I absolutely will!