Is the winter veil really effective ? How and on which plants should it be used ?

The winter veil is absolutely essential to protect many plants, whether in the vegetable garden, the pleasure garden, on the terrace, the balcony, or even in the orchard. Let’s discover the advantages of this very effective protective veil which is also used for force seedlings. Let’s also see how to choose your weight, how to use this winter protection for plants, when, and what types of plants can be covered with this very specific fabric.

What is a winter veil?

The winter veil is a polypropylene non-woven fabric. This is a thermal fabric that all gardeners should have on hand to protect certain plants against the cold. Indeed, the wintering veil can save up to 4°C depending on its weight.

What are the advantages of the winter veil?

If there are so many gardeners who use a thermal veil from the first autumn frosts, it is because it has many advantages, namely:

  • Useful,
  • Efficient,
  • 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,
  • Allows air, water and light to pass through,
  • Allows plants to breathe
  • Limits condensation,
  • Reduces the risk of rot,
  • Allows you to garden in all seasons,
  • Accelerates the emergence of sowings carried out at the end of winter and in spring,
  • Protects plants against insects, birds,
  • Economic,
  • Easy to use,
  • Available in different weights,
  • Displays good stability over time, its lifespan being approximately three seasons.

However, a winter veil is not enough to protect non-hardy plants against extreme cold or frost. Cold-sensitive species must therefore be grown in pots in many of our regions in order to be able to be wintered in a suitable room. It should also be noted that the use of pesticides can lead to degradation of the non-woven polypropylene fabric, which reduces lifespan a wintering or forcing veil.

How to choose a wintering or forcing veil?

It’s all about weight. One therefore chooses one’s wintering or forcing veil according to one’s region.

  • In a mild climate, in a sunny geographical area where the winters are not very marked, a type P17 wintering sail enough to protect fragile but not frost-susceptible plants when temperatures are around 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 there is still a risk of frost. 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 type P30 wintering sail protects plantations well against frost. The canvas is quite thick with a weight 28 to 30 gsm and makes it possible to increase the temperature of the plants by 4°C, which is perfect for also using it 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 grammages can be used alternately depending on the outside temperature.

About the winter veil price, 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. At equal weight, the comparison must always be made taking into account the price per square meter. It is possible to buy winter veil or forcing 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 wintering/forcing canvas?

Simply unroll the wintering veil to cover the plants in the ground that you want to protect against frost. In the vegetable patch, the thermal blanket is laid over the vegetables and then care is taken to stretch 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 hold it to the sides either with stones or with planks.

But you can also use a wintering tunnel. This is made up of arches that support the winter protection veil. It is a device very appreciated for its practicality, in particular with regard to the model of wintering tunnel in accordion which moves very easily and whose length adapts in no time at all to that of the bed of vegetables or the border of flowers which one wishes to protect from the frost.

There is even a wintering veil system fixed to a plastic or iron structure, with a harvest hatch which is particularly useful in the vegetable garden. Usually marketed as grow tunnel greenhousethis device is used in winter but also in spring for forcing seedlings as can be done with other models of thermal sails.

Finally, note that for plants in tubs, the winter cover is ideal. But this does not prevent placing the pots along a wall not exposed to the wind.

On which plants should a winter veil be used?

The winter veil protects against the cold the fragile plants but which 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, without forgetting potted citrus fruits and other fruit trees grown in tubs or in an exposed area of ​​the garden. It’s not just winter vegetables to protect. Those who are sown, transplanted and then harvested in the spring have every interest in benefiting from this very effective thermal protection.

All the plants which can be protected by a winter veil must nevertheless present a certain hardiness. Very fragile species absolutely intolerant of cold (and even less of frost) may well be covered with a wintering veil, but they will not survive the winter. It is imperative to bring them under shelter from the first autumn frosts and until the spring frosts are no longer to be feared. Thus, whether it is as soon as the first frosts are announced, during the winter or well before the ice saints (11, 12, 13 May), you should not hesitate to use a wintering veil because it is really highly effective, whether in rolls, in tunnels, in greenhouses or in covers.

In addition to protecting plants against frosthe protects them against cold winds which, if they persist, can cause damage to many ornamental plants, vegetables and fragile fruit trees. The beginner gardener should in any case know that caution is required from the month of October because no one is safe from a surprise frostand that this can be enough to destroy many plants.

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