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How To Use Your Frost/Shade cover to Increase Growth for your Winter Herbs and Vegetables

Use Your Frost/Shade cover to Increase Growth for your Winter Herbs and Vegetables.


If you cover your winter plants to keep them warmer during the nighttime when temperatures drop, it will also keep your plants warmer during the daytime and increase their growth ability if you leave the cloth on.  When planting in cooler weather, keeping your soil warm is key to creating faster growth. 

            With shade cloth                                              Without shade cloth



Using a black cloth would increase the heat a lot but it would also greatly reduce the amount of light your winter vegetables and herbs would need to have increased growth. 


When using a black cloth, you could use a Clamp on - Grow light during the daytime and even at night to increase the amount of light your outdoor winter veggies are getting which would definitely increase their growth, but that is an added expense and another item you would need to hook up.


DO NOT use a plastic cover to lay directly on your plants.   If temperatures dip into the freezing level.  The plastic will not protect your plants if the plants are touching the plastic.


Plastic will not breath during the warmer daytime temperatures and could lead to mildew on the leaves of your winter garden plants and overheating.  Use a cloth which will be able to breathe but will also let the maximum amount of light in during the colder weather periods.


The Soil Separator Clothe worked well for my frost/shade structure but since it was only 3 feet wide, I did have to do some extra sewing to complete my project. 


The Gardeneer Harvest-Guard by Dalen is another good choice and the material is a heavier material.


I do recommend that you build a structure over your plants like I did with my frost/shade structure. The pvc structure will support the cloth and allow unobstructed growth for your winter garden, especially if you are growing tomatoes.

             Without shade cover                            With shade cover


              With shade cover-new plant                      With shade cover 2 months     



           Without shade cover-2 months                  With shade cover-2 months

The shade clothe will help to hold in the heat accumulated during the daytime and help to retain this heat in the cooler nighttime hours.  The shade clothe will also help to protect the leaves from the dryer winds we receive here in Southern California during our winter season as well as the light frost during the early morning hours.  The white cloth will not diminish the amount of light received but it will increase the amount of heat retained in the soil around the rood system of your vegetables.


Be sure to share your projects & pictures with us.  You may have to use Firefox to upload your pics to our community site.  Make your pics about 350 to 500 pixels so that they will load.

For information on how to build your own Frost/ Shade structure go to:

How to build a frost/shade structure with PVC


Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.



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Posted 2017-02-24T20:51:23+0000  by Rick_HD_OC Rick_HD_OC