As winter draws nearer, we must turn our attention to protecting the sensitive plants from Jack Frost’s icy clutches. Although many find the task of covering and uncovering a little arduous, the benefit of having a beautiful, healthy garden is well worth the effort.
I thought I would explain the three different products which Oderings recommend to keep your precious plants protected, which are frost cloth, mikroclima and Vaporgard. Frost cloth and mikroclima are both material which you drape over the plants. The main difference is the quality and convenience. Frost cloth is cheaper and generally only lasts one to two seasons. Because it does not let the sunlight through it needs to be removed daily and dried before reusing. The mikroclima however is a lot sturdier, lasting easily 10 seasons and if the durability doesn’t sell you, then the fact that you don’t need to remove it from the plant should. Mikroclima is made of a special weaved material which allows light through, meaning the plant still receives light throughout the day and the cloth can be left on the plants to dry out naturally. Both forms of frost cloth are a tightly woven, offering protection from 1°C - 4°C (frost will not occur at temperatures over 4°C), with double thickness for temperatures under 1°C. To secure the cloth to a tree wrap around in a lollipop shape and secure to itself (pegs do the job nicely).
The third form of protection is Vaporgard. This is a liquid which you dilute and then spray onto tender plants and provides protection on your plants down to -3°C, lasting three months but any new foliage growth will also then need spraying for protection.
New – I have pots and planters outside my front door with dwarf citrus and walking through retail last week I spotted the new ‘Easy Fleece Jackets’. The jackets have a drawstring and are placed over your plants, protecting plants from light frost, cool nights, wind and heavy rain during the growing season. They are lightweight with breathable fabric which allows air and UV light to reach plants, meaning no need to remove each morning and replace each evening. The Fabric is washable, air dries quickly, easy to store and can be used season after season. A great new product which can be used on any plants in the garden or pots. Pack of two large bags, or 3 medium bags are available now in store or online at www.oderings.co.nz.