Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hot Caps Uncovered

There are several ways to protect your plants from bad weather. We have talked about row cover and cold frames. There are some more ways to protect your plants today we are going to talk about hot caps.
There are a few different kinds of hot caps. You can buy small plastic ones that are relatively thin and provide minimal protection. You would use it to pop it over the top of a tender plant when the temperature drops below the ideal for that plant. Or keep it on until the plant gets to big for it, or the temperatures reach a better range.
There is a hot cap that we use a lot especially to start tomatoes early. They are called Wall-o-Water. They have little tubes that you fill with water. The sun heats up the water during the day, and at night the water releases the heat to the plant when temperatures drop. The top of the Wall-o-Water is open, and can be covered with newspaper on nights that there will be a heavy frost or snow.

A free option for a hot cap is an old milk jug. Cut the bottom out of the milk jug and place over the top of the plant. On hot, sunny days, remove the cap of the milk jug to release some of the heat from the hot cap.
Wall-o-water and hot caps are great options for plants that are spread apart and would be more economical to cover individually. Hot caps are a great tool to use when growing your home garden. They key is to choose the hot cap that is right for the job and your garden. Happy Gardening!

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