plants covered on burlaps
ECO gardener

Burlap fabric is an eco-friendly alternative to landscape fabric made from plastic. The thick, coarse material can block sunlight but allows water and air to pass through. This makes burlap fabric a great material to protect plants from the winter cold.

How to prepare your garden for winter using burlap fabric? Check out these tips:

What Plants Should Be Covered in Winter?

lemon trees

Covering plants in winter is essential for their survival and well-being. It helps protect them from freezing temperatures and ensures that they remain healthy until the warmer weather returns.

Plants need to be covered in winter primarily to protect them from freezing temperatures and harsh weather conditions. During winter, temperatures drop significantly, and frost can occur. Frost happens when water inside the plant’s cells freezes, causing damage to the plant’s tissues.

Covering plants helps to create a layer of insulation that traps heat close to the plant, preventing moisture from freezing. This insulation can come from various materials such as fabric, plastic, or mulch. Additionally, covering plants can shield them from harsh winds, which can further damage delicate foliage and branches.

Covering plants with burlap can also prevent rapid temperature fluctuations. When temperatures fluctuate dramatically, it can cause stress to the plant and disrupt its growth cycle. By providing a covering, the temperature around the plant remains more stable, reducing stress and promoting healthier growth.

Some insects and pathogens lay dormant in winter and can cause damage to exposed plants if given the opportunity. Covering plants can protect them from pests and diseases that may thrive in colder temperatures. Burlap plant cover acts as a barrier, making it more difficult for pests and diseases to reach the plant.

Plants that need winter protection are:

Tender perennials: Tender perennials are plants that are not fully hardy and may be damaged or killed by frost. Examples include many flowering plants like geraniums, fuchsias, and impatiens. These plants should be covered to prevent frost damage to their delicate foliage and stems.

Citrus trees: Citrus trees, such as lemon, lime, and orange trees, are sensitive to cold temperatures and can be damaged if exposed to frost. Covering citrus trees with blankets or frost cloth can help protect them from freezing temperatures and ensure they survive the winter.

Tropical plants: Tropical plants, like hibiscus, banana trees, and bougainvillea, are not adapted to cold climates and can be severely damaged by frost. These plants should be covered or brought indoors during the winter months to keep them warm and protected.

Tender bulbs: Tender bulbs, including dahlias, gladiolus, and cannas, are susceptible to frost damage and should be covered to protect them during the winter. Mulching around the base of the plants can also help insulate the soil and protect the bulbs from freezing.

Vegetables: Some vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, are sensitive to cold temperatures and should be covered to extend the growing season. Floating row covers or cold frames can be used to protect these vegetables from frost and chilly winds.

Herbs: Certain herbs, like basil, rosemary, and parsley, are not cold-hardy and should be covered to prevent frost damage. These herbs can be covered with cloches or moved indoors during the winter to keep them safe from freezing temperatures.

Young trees and shrubs: Young trees and shrubs are more vulnerable to cold temperatures than mature plants and should be covered to protect them from frost damage. Wrapping the trunks of young trees with burlap or plastic tree wrap can help prevent sunscald and frost cracks.

Evergreen plants: Evergreen plants, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, and boxwoods, can suffer from winter burns if exposed to harsh winds and freezing temperatures. These plants should be covered with burlap or frost cloth to provide protection from the elements.

Spring-blooming bulbs: Spring-blooming bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, can be damaged if exposed to freezing temperatures and should be covered to protect them during the winter. Applying a layer of mulch over the soil can also help insulate the bulbs and prevent frost damage.

Fruit trees: Fruit trees, such as apple, peach, and cherry trees, may need to be covered during the winter to protect them from frost and cold temperatures. Frost cloth or blankets can be wrapped around the trunks and branches of fruit trees to prevent damage to the bark and buds.

When Should Plants Be Covered with Burlap Fabric?

Covering plants with burlap fabric for winter should be done before the arrival of freezing temperatures and harsh weather conditions. Typically, this means covering plants in late fall, before the first frost occurs. However, the exact timing can vary depending on your location and the specific weather patterns in your area.

Don’t wait until the last minute to cover your plants. It’s best to be proactive and prepare in advance, especially if you live in an area with unpredictable weather patterns. Here’s a guide to help you determine when to cover your plants with burlap fabric for winter:

Monitor weather forecasts: Keep an eye on weather forecasts in your area. When temperatures start to drop significantly, and frost is expected, it’s time to start thinking about covering your plants.

Check the calendar: In many regions, late fall is the ideal time to cover plants with burlap fabric. This is usually around mid to late November, but it can vary depending on your local climate.

Check plant vulnerability: Some plants are more sensitive to cold temperatures than others. Evaluate the types of plants in your garden and consider covering those that are more susceptible to frost damage, such as tender perennials, tropical plants, and young trees.

Observe signs of frost damage: If you notice any signs of frost damage on your plants, such as wilted or blackened foliage, it’s a clear indication that they need protection. Act quickly to cover these plants with burlap fabric to prevent further damage.

Keep an eye on temperature fluctuations throughout the winter months. If there are sudden drops in temperature or extended periods of cold weather, check on your covered plants to make sure they’re adequately protected.

Choose the right fabric: When covering plants with burlap fabric, make sure to use a breathable material that allows air and moisture to circulate. Burlap is a good choice, an alternative for landscape fabric, because it provides insulation while still allowing plants to breathe.

When covering plants with burlap fabric, ensure that the fabric is securely anchored to the ground or tied around the plant to prevent it from blowing away in strong winds.

By following these guidelines and paying attention to weather conditions, you can determine the best time to cover your plants with burlap fabric for winter. Remember to act proactively to protect your plants from frost damage and ensure their survival until spring.

How to Cover Your Plants with Burlap Plant Fabric

plants covered on burlap

Covering your plants with burlap fabric for winter protection is easy as long as you have all the materials you need on hand. These materials include:

  • Burlap fabric
  • Twine
  • Gardening scissors
  • Stakes or poles
  • Gloves

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cover your plants with burlap fabric:

Before covering your plants, make sure they are well-watered and free from any debris or dead foliage. Prune back any overgrown branches or foliage to ensure the fabric can cover the entire plant.

Step 1: Measure the height and width of the plant you want to cover, and cut a piece of burlap fabric that is large enough to completely wrap around it. Leave some extra fabric at the top to create a loose tent-like structure.

Step 2: Place stakes or poles around the perimeter of the plant to create a support structure for the burlap fabric. Make sure the stakes are tall enough to reach above the top of the plant.

Step 3: Carefully wrap the burlap fabric around the plant, starting at the base and working your way up. Pull the fabric snugly around the plant but not too tight to avoid damaging the foliage. Use twine or rope to tie the burlap fabric securely in place around the plant. Start at the top and work your way down, tying the fabric to the stakes or poles at regular intervals.

If you’re covering larger plants or multiple plants with burlap fabric, consider creating ventilation holes to allow air and moisture to circulate. Use scissors to carefully cut small holes in the fabric, ensuring they are evenly spaced and not too large.

Step 4: Once the burlap fabric is securely in place, double-check to make sure the entire plant is covered and protected. Pay special attention to the top and sides of the plant, as these areas are most vulnerable to frost damage.

Keep an eye on your covered plants throughout the winter months, especially during periods of extreme cold or heavy snowfall. Check for any signs of frost damage or damage to the fabric, and make adjustments as needed to ensure your plants stay protected.

By following these steps, you can effectively cover your plants with burlap fabric to provide them with the protection they need to survive the winter months.

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