One of my readers made a blog post suggestion to me: How do your protect your little seedlings from inclement weather? They had just planted their little garden and then heard on the news that heavy rain, strong winds and hail were in the forecast…
When your seedlings first begin to sprout out of the ground or get transplanted outside, there are a few things you can do to help protect them from a variety of threats that can come their way.
For starters, frost. Sometimes we have those crazy days were there is a ridiculously late frost just when we thought our seedlings were in the clear. Or, the forecast predicts heavy rains with possible hail and high winds as we glance out to the garden and wonder how the tiny seedlings will survive. Then, if your seedlings were fortunate enough to dodge inclement weather, there are the occasional birds that mistake your bean sprout for worm and scratch them out, the squirrels that tries to eat your seed pods or a bug of some sort that decides your garden leaves are the perfect birthing place for their little larva in the early spring.
So, here is something you can try…
Find and empty, plastic container. The best and most cost effective ones are soda bottles. Depending on the size of your plants, you may have to get a larger bottle (I am thinking of those large, plastic jars that pretzels come in). Cut the bottle in half and place it over your little plants. This will protect them from bugs, inclement weather, and frost since it acts as a mini greenhouse – holding in heat, protecting from frost and creating a plastic barrier from all the elements. There is one thing you MUST REMEMBER TO DO however. Remove the plastic cover once the threat has passed or is starts to really warm up outside. Otherwise, it will get very hot inside the container and your seedlings can shrivel up. This is really ment to be used for temporary protection, you don’t want to leave these on top of your plants all season long!
For this demo, I used a regular water bottle:
Once you have your plastic bottle, cut it in half with a pair of scissors ( TIP: It is a lot easier to start the cut if you puncture the bottle with something first)
Once cut in half, you bring the top half to the garden. I like to use the top half because it has the opening at the top which will still allow air in. carefully place the container over your seedlings and press it down into the soil to make sure a strong wind wouldn’t be able to blow it off:
And there you have it! A happily protected garden seedling