The wintering veil is absolutely essential to protect many plants, whether in the vegetable patch, the pleasure garden, on the terrace, the balcony, or even in the orchard. Let’s find out the advantages of this very effective protective veil that we also use for force seedlings. Let’s also see how to choose its weight, how to use this winter protection for plants, when, and what types of plants can be covered with this very specific canvas.
What is a wintering veil?
The wintering veil is a polypropylene non-woven fabric. This is a thermal fabric that all gardeners should have on hand to protect certain plants from the cold. Indeed, the wintering veil makes it possible to gain up to 4 ° C depending on its weight.
What are the advantages of the wintering veil?
If there are so many gardeners who use a thermal veil from the first frost of autumn, it is because it has many advantages, namely:
- Offers good thermal insulation,
- Protects hardy plants against cold, frost,
- Increases the temperature of the plants by 2 to 4 ° C depending on the weight chosen,
- Let air, water and light pass through,
- Allows plants to breathe,
- Limits condensation,
- Reduces the risk of rot,
- Allows you to garden in all seasons,
- Accelerates the emergence of seedlings made at the end of winter and in spring,
- Protects plants against insects, birds,
- Easy to use,
- Available in different weights,
- Shows good stability over time, its lifespan being about three seasons.
However, a wintering veil is not enough to protect non-hardy plants against extreme cold or frost. Chilly species must therefore be cultivated in pots in many of our regions in order to be able to be overwintered in an appropriate room. It should also be noted that the use of pesticides can cause degradation of the polypropylene non-woven fabric, which reduces service life a wintering or forcing veil.
How to choose a wintering or forcing veil?
It’s all about weight. We therefore choose our wintering or forcing veil according to their region.
- Under a mild climate, in a sunny geographical area where winters are not very marked, a winter sail type P17 sufficient to protect fragile but non-freezing plants when temperatures are in the order of 0 to -4 ° C. It is a thin canvas, the weight of which is 17 g / m², but which still allows the temperature of the plants to be increased by 2 ° C. It is also used as a forcing veil to help young plants or seedlings to start when the risk of frost is still to be feared. Its price is 16 to 20 € for a roll of 1.60 x 1.00 m.
- Indispensable in regions with marked winters but also where autumn and spring frosts are legion, the P30 type winter sail protects plants well against frost. The canvas is quite thick with a grammage from 28 to 30 g / m² and allows the temperature of the plants to be increased by 4 ° C, which is perfect for using it also as a thermal veil for forcing. Its price is around € 28 to € 32 for a roll of 2.10 x 25.00 m.
Ideally, these two weights can be used alternately depending on the outside temperature.
About the price of the wintering veil, it varies considerably from one supplier to another and, of course, according to its grammage. From 16 to 20 € for a P17 roll of 1.60 x 1.00 m it goes to around 30 € for a P30 roll of 2.10 x 25.00 m. For the same grammage, the comparison must always be made taking into account the price per square meter. It is possible to buy wintering or forcing veil in garden centers as well as on specialized online sites. For specific needs, some suppliers can send free quotes on request.
How to use a winter cover / forcing?
You just have to unroll the wintering veil to cover the plants in the ground that you want to protect against frost. In the vegetable garden, the thermal blanket is placed on the vegetables and then care is taken to tender enough so that it is not in permanent contact with the plants. In addition, so that the wintering veil does not fly away at the slightest gust of wind, it is necessary to think of keep it on the sides either with stones or with planks.
But we can also use a wintering tunnel. This consists of arches that support the winter protection veil. It is a device very appreciated for its practicality, in particular as regards the model of wintering tunnel. accordion which moves very easily and whose length adapts in two stages three movements to that of the vegetable board or the flower border that you want to protect from frost.
There is even a wintering sail system attached to a plastic or iron structure, with a harvest hatch which is particularly useful in the vegetable garden. Usually marketed under the name greenhouse cultivation tunnel, this device is used in winter but also in spring for forcing seedlings as can also be done with other models of thermal sails.
Finally, note that for plants in containers, the winter cover is ideal. But this does not prevent placing the pots along a wall not exposed to the wind.
On which plants to use a wintering veil?
The winter cover protects against the cold fragile plants that do not fear frost. For example, you can put a wintering veil on a Camellia, a Rhododendron, a Hibiscus, geraniums, but also on Cucumber, Sorrel, various salads such as Watercress, Lamb’s lettuce, or even on a spinach board. , radishes, aromatic plants, not to mention citrus in pots and other fruit trees grown in containers or in an exposed area of the garden. It’s not just winter vegetables to protect. Those that are sown, transplanted and harvested in spring have every interest in benefiting from this highly efficient thermal protection.
All plants which can be protected by a wintering veil must nevertheless exhibit a certain hardiness. The very fragile species that absolutely do not tolerate the cold (and even less frost) may be covered with a wintering veil, they will not withstand winter. It is imperative to bring them under shelter from the first autumn frosts and until spring frosts are no longer to be feared. Thus, whether it is at the announcement of the first frosts, during the winter or well before the Ice Saints (May 11, 12, 13), do not hesitate to use a wintering veil because it is really very efficient, whether in rolls, in tunnels, in greenhouses or in covers.
In addition to protecting plants against frost, he protects them against the cold winds which, if they persist, can damage many ornamental plants, vegetables and fragile fruit trees. The novice gardener must in any case know that caution is required from October because no one is safe from a surprise jelly, and that this may be enough to destroy many plants.