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An Early Look at Plankets for Frost Protection

By dave
September 28, 2013

Plankets are snazzy frost blankets that work well to protect potted plants as well as shrubs in the landscaping. The company sent us some to try out, so we made a video for everyone to see.

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Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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threegardeners
Sep 27, 2013 6:48 PM CST
Why spend the money when an old sheet will work just fine? or a garbage bag? and I'm in Canada....where we KNOW frost Big Grin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 27, 2013 7:19 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

This thing is much, much lighter than an old sheet. I don't know why but it is and as a consequence it doesn't crush the plant at all.

I'm not shilling for the product, just saying it like I saw it. Smiling
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 28, 2013 1:04 PM CST
So, I'm Canadian too, but I'm in Florida. Here we have lots of tender plants, grow veggies and annual flowers through the winter but we do get occasional frosts so I do a LOT of covering! Btw, I'd never use garbage bags or anything plastic unless I tented it away from the leaves. Plastic conducts the cold so if it sits against the leaves of a tender plant they will get nipped. Cardboard works much better.

Two comments on the Plankets,
First I'd like it better if it were a light color, or white. Even in winter our sun is pretty warm, and I'd worry that the dark color cloth sitting on the leaves might burn them. In March - when we did have frost this spring! - it absolutely would. My white frost cloth lets through about 70% of the sunlight and does not burn the plants even if I leave them on until noon (which I did once or twice - oops!) I also use it for shading transplants in the spring if it's hot. I got mine online, not at the big box store. It's much better quality.

Second thing, I like the straight tarp cover with the grommets rather than the one with the drawstrings. To me the idea of the covers is to trap the heat rising from the warm ground to keep the plant warm through the night. If the cover doesn't go all the way down to the ground or is neatly gathered around the plant with a drawstring, not nearly as much warmth will be trapped around the plant. Not saying it won't protect, but it sure won't protect as well.

Thanks for the demo, very cute video.
Elaine

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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Sep 28, 2013 6:27 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Elaine- great feedback!

I think the drawstring ones are mostly for containers, which allow for the covering without worrying about having to figure out how to secure it. After the initial fiddling to get the string pulled through properly, I did like it better. I can see using the same plankets for the same containers time after time and it would be quick to pop on and off.

I hear ya on the color. They are promoting the green as less intrusive- I suppose for when we forget to take it off first thing in the morning, we don't embarrass the neighborhood by having white rolls everywhere Whistling Shrug! Green Grin!
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 28, 2013 8:44 PM CST
True, green is less noticeable. Lucky for me, everything I cover is in the back yard where only we can see it. Big Grin

We go away for a week in December each year, and if cold weather threatens, I'm thinking I could leave the white covers on for the whole week. Micro-irrigation is under the covers and they would dry before night time. Couldn't do that with the green ones, I don't think.

Does it say anywhere on the Plankets package how much light they let through? My white ones had that info. Who knows if it's accurate.

Thumb of 2013-09-29/dyzzypyxxy/b4437c

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 29, 2013 6:12 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

You can see at one point in the video where we lifted it up and looked underneath. It was letting almost zero light through.

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