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Frost and freeze can cause terrible damage to your crops, not to mention it has you feeling anxious about your crops the entire night. Luckily, there’s a way to protect your crops from falling victim to frost or freeze, but first, we’ll have a lesson in what these phenomena are in the first place.

Frost and Freeze

Freeze is what happens when the temperature in the environment is below water’s freezing point, which is 32 o F. Obviously, the water inside your crops and plants has the same freezing point, and so it freezes, causing the cells to burst. This leads to severe plant damage that can’t be fixed.

Frost, on the other hand, occurs at a temperature that’s below freezing. The temperature of your crops reaches the freezing point, even if the temperature that surrounds your crops is approaching 32 o F. Since the surface of your plant crops is already at the freezing point, then any dew that forms will automatically turn into ice, causing distress to the plant. You may have seen frost in the form of hoarfrost, the feathery shape of crystals that cover your plants, and rime, which is what happens when dew from the plants turns into frost upon being released.

How To Protect Your Crops

You’ll need some mulch (make sure it’s organic), a mallet, row covers or sheets, wooden stakes and some containers of various sizes. An integral part of farming is not just taking effective measures when the temperatures go down, but predicting such conditions beforehand. Check a weather forecast for low nighttime temperatures and water your crops adequately a few days before the frost is expected to occur.

Your crops will be less susceptible to harm from the cold if they’re well-watered and aren’t wilting. Since your soil will be nice and moist, your crops will stay well protected too. Spread your choice of organic variety mulch in a thick layer over the soil in case there isn’t any mulch placed already. If you’re trying to protect young plant crops from the frost, you can cover them with layers of light hay or mulch.

Take your wooden stakes and place them into the soil while making sure that the tops of plants fall below the tips of the stakes. Use row covers or sheets to place them over the crops and wooden stakes but remember that your sheets shouldn’t touch the plants. Bring the sheets to the soil level and cover them with more soil to keep them from lifting and allowing the chill to enter. If you have smaller crops lying around individually, cover them with a container but place a small dish with water inside so that heat is provided.

If you want, you can set up some lights (like fairy lights) under the protective sheets so they give off some heat to your crops. The next morning, you should remember to remove the row covers, sheets and containers from plants. That’s because sunshine will kick in soon, and leaving the covers on your crops would put them at the risk of overheating.

Practice this effective routine every time you’re anticipating the frost to keep your crops protected. Happy Farming!

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Tackle Your Spring Cleaning In The Winter Months

by Erin Weaver

There’s a lot to be said for spring cleaning. It feels good to brush away the cobwebs and bring some life back into your home, but you don’t need to wait until the flowers are blooming to do it. Winter is the perfect time to get organizing, particularly on farms and homesteads. Things are generally winding down as the cold weather sweeps in, which means less time outdoors and more opportunities to focus on your home.

Some home organization activities are perfect for the winter, so why not tackle them before the spring rolls around?

Make A Charity Donation Box

Winter is usually the season when you’re at home the most, so it’s all too easy to recognize excess clutter in your house during these months. Instead of sitting around and bemoaning all the stuff you’ve accumulated, sift through your belongings and make a box of items that you can donate to charity.

Get Rid of Old Kitchen Utensils

You’re probably gathering with family and friends more often during the winter, which means one thing – food! In the run-up to all that winter cooking, take stock of your kitchen cupboards and sell, donate, or throw out any utensils that you no longer use or have room for.

Look Through Your Pantry

The same thing goes for your pantry too. Really get in there and figure out which items are out of date, which are never going to get eaten, or which you could start using more often. This will give you more space, neater cupboards, and new meal ideas too.

Sort Out Your Calendar

Winter is a good time to plan out your calendar for the months ahead. This gives you a chance to plan out farming activities, make necessary appointments with doctors, dentists, vets, and whoever else, and figure out potential rest periods.

Pile Up Unworn Winter Gear

Winter clothes, shoes, and bedding take up so much more space than flimsy summer-wear. If you’ve realized that there are certain items that simply aren’t getting used, don’t wait until next winter to expunge them. Put them in a pile and pledge to donate them or toss them out if they haven’t been used by the end of the season.

Deep-Clean Your Bathroom

Your bathroom can get particularly mucky during the winter – everyone’s getting mud-coated and rain-slicked out on the farm, and the cold weather makes you want to hole up in the shower for longer than usual. Take this chance to do a proper deep-clean of your bathroom to make it a shining sanctuary during this chilly time.

Don’t let your home become a pit of disorganization during the winter months. Use this time to work on the tasks that you’ll inevitably put off for the rest of the year, and feel bright and organized by the time spring arrives.

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