Why You Should Use Bed Sheets In Your Garden As The Weather Changes

Seasoned gardeners know how much damage winter can wreak on a garden if you don't take precautions before temperatures fall. As the weather becomes harsher, new and established trees and shrubs alike can suffer. Harsh winds can snap growing branches, and heavy snow or rainfall can weigh down trees and shrubs, possibly breaking them. A severe frost can leave some shrubs with burn marks, and plummeting temperatures can even kill off unestablished plants. However, wrapping plants in bed sheets can help save them. 

Like how you snuggle up in flannel sheets when the temperatures dip, so will your outdoor plants. All you will need to do is carefully wrap sheets around shrubs, garden beds, and trees that could become vulnerable, and cinch them into place so they don't go flying through the neighborhood. Intrigued? Here's how to do the gardening hack, ensuring you can have your landscaping intact come springtime. 

How to do it

In order to pull off this hack, grab an old bed sheet you no longer want to use and head outside. Items like bed sheets are better than plastic sheets, since the organic threads allow air to circulate and heat to escape. However, you don't want to wrap them directly over your trees or shrubs. That's because it can cause just as much harm to the plants as leaving them unwrapped. If the sheets touch the leaves or branches, they can freeze together, creating damage down the road. To avoid this, you need to create a structure over the landscaping you want to cover.

You can make everything from tubular arbor trellises to tomato cages to bean pole teepees. You can also DIY wooden box frames to custom-fit your plant's exact size and shape. Once that's in place, grab your sheet and secure it into place with rocks, strings, or zip ties so it stays put all winter long. You also want to make sure it's relatively taut so it doesn't sag under the weight of snow. And that's it! Once the temperatures warm up, you can remove them to ensure the plants underneath don't overheat. But your garden should stay intact all winter long. 

Why this works

Using bed sheets is beneficial for two reasons. First, your plant will accumulate moisture on its leaves and bark during the wintertime due to snow, rain, or dew. The sheet stops the cold air from coming into contact with that moisture, which could result in burns. Second, the sheet also traps heat, allowing the plants to stay at a comfortable temperature as the polar vortex rages on outside. But since it's breathable, that heat doesn't stay trapped in the sack, allowing air to circulate constantly. 

For best results, you want to use a heavier bed sheet so it adequately protects your garden from the elements. However, you can double up on your thinner sheets if you don't have a flannel or thick cotton one. This is a beneficial hack not only because it protects your landscaping, but also because it gives you a chance to repurpose old items. Rather than throwing out old bed sheets, you can instead give them an important job in the garden.