There’s a couple cheap and frugal ways to protect your plants in the garden .
We still have nights were it’s too cold for the vegetable plants , but the plants are too big to keep in small cups so they needed to be outside. Besides the crazy squirrel Nutter’s who loves to mess up my garden, snails, and the weather claim many seedlings during this month.
My first quick fix is wood shavings! Snails don’t seem to go past a pile of shavings, and the shavings have kept my plants from frost at nights as well. Not only that it keeps the soil moist, which means less watering. Straw also works well. Right before dust cover the plants up as most the heat from the ground is already leaving so you want to cover it up around this time to keep the heat there around the plant.
Newspaper, plastic sheets, even a bed sheet as long as it’s light weight.Burlap works, as well as bubble wrap, so of you’ve got it, use it! If the plants are a little bigger or very fragile, create a tent, use a stake and just drape whatever your using over making a make shift tent over the plant. If you using straw or wood shavings make sure leaves, and the stem are protected.
You can also use a empty milk jug to keep frost at bay. Cut the bottom off and place it over the seedling or plant, it’ll keep the heat in as well as bugs and frost out. Other plastic jugs could work as well, just remember to remove them in the morning before the sun really hits it. You don’t want too much heat trapped in there, it can kill the plant.
If your trying to keep snails away, straw doesn’t work so well . If your using the straw for plants already, I suggest sprinkling eggshells around the plants like a barrier to keep the snails away. Eggshells don’t forget bring some nutrients into the soil so keep saving them, clean them dry them crush them up to use all over the garden!
Another way to keep the snails away is get drunk! Not you, the snails! Yup, get those things drunk as sleazy snails. Fill a pie plate with beer and set it out at night, Those slugs drink it and die. Just beware your yard will look like a drunken slug war zone, and it’s not pretty to look at.
In the morning, after the frost has thawed make sure you uncover the plants so the air is moving and the sun warms them up! Each night you can just move the straw, shavings or whatever your using to protect them back into place. Once the temps stops dipping so low at night you don’t have to worry as much. Straw and shavings though do keep the ground moist, so it’s not a bad idea to keep around plants all season long. If you have berries, or any other ground growing plants it’s great to use to keep the fruit and vegetables off the dirt.