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Need gardening suggestion
Jill DeVine
November 29, 2012 - 2:22 am

My garden is a small area of containers on a couple of roll carts. There are arching hoops over the top, and they’re about 3 1/2′ high. I want to cover the area to protect my plants from the cold and freezing weather that will soon come. The only solution I’ve ever heard of is to use plastic sheeting, which is handily transparent for visibility, lets the sunlight in, and retains the heat. There must be some alternative. 

December 2, 2012 - 3:56 am

Glass. It’s always been used in cold climates and I’m pretty sure most gardeners prefer it. The fact that it “might” smash far outweighs the fact that plastic doesn’t last long before it goes yuk even if it doesn’t get holes too soon.

This relates to any size space. A small area can be protected and improved by having a framed sheet of glass or 2 (salvaged window, unused picture frame without backing, etc) angled in the right spot when needed.

There is no denying the superiority of glass in its affect on protecting while allowing passive solar warmth.

January 17, 2013 - 7:46 am

What about using floating row cover material on the hoops? I do not not know what the material is made out of though. It maybe plastic as well.

January 28, 2013 - 9:15 am

Row covers are not plastic but nonwoven fabric.  I’m not positive what kind.  They will not provide enough protection from the cold during the winter (at least not in the Midwest — not sure where the gardener lives).  Glass is definitely your best bet if you don’t want to use plastic, but heavy and perhaps not practical for container gardens.  Maybe you can find some discarded plexiglass to reuse, or an old shower curtain or other plastic sheeting that you can upcycle.

Beth Terry
409 Posts
January 28, 2013 - 12:24 pm

That nonwoven fabric is actually plastic. Is it the kind of fabric that many reusable grocery bags are made from? If so, it’s probably polypropylene.

October 24, 2014 - 9:12 am

I use old burlap coffee bags from my local farm store, but you can get rolls of it online. You’d still have to uncover/recover daily, but it’s non-plastic.

April 6, 2015 - 9:19 pm

We water the garden or plants before a freeze and this has worked for us. We live in Canada. Here is a link that advices the same.…..-a-freeze/

Also, containers that are tall enough and can surround the plant, even if the top is open http://web.extension.illinois……wsID=13698…..-l-1/62956

These links have good examples. Our neighbour used coffee cans and it worked well. Maybe after cutting the bottom off, it could be hinged with something so the lid could be opened and closed without having to remove the can away from the plant? The neighbour left the top open.

May 8, 2015 - 10:14 am

Found some ideas while starting the garden this year.…..containers…..ugh-to-eat…..-recycled/…..k-planter/…..l-planter/

Using these ideas got me to thinking about how to create for larger raised beds and some of these links lead to wall gardening as well. Love it!

May 20, 2015 - 8:47 am

Have read that 40% of wood pallets go into the landfill, and many stores will give them to customers for free, as they are stored behind the store until picked up for disposal (some may be reused by the company).

We are using the pallets to build outdoor furniture (skipping plastics) and planter stands, pots, etc. There are instructions on the internet on how to use for a multitude of money and plastic saving projects, as well the wood isn’t wasted.

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