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8 Best Plant Covers for Winter

Plant covers protect your garden from early or late frosts, extending the growing season as long as possible.

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Floating Row Cover For Plantsvia

Best Row Cover

These covers protect vegetable gardens planted in rows against frost and insects. This long Agfabric cover can protect an entire row of crops. It also works as a wrap for shrubs. It comes in multiple sizes and you can cut it to your desired length. Install it over garden hoops to create an insulated space around your plants.

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Dewitt Tree Wrapvia

Best Tree Wrap

Even hardy trees are susceptible to winter, but newly planted trees and trees with thin bark are particularly vulnerable. Tree wrap protects them. Prevent cracked bark, sunscald and pest damage with this simple step. This DeWitt tree wrap, made of polypropylene fabric, is popular because it works for most types of trees

If you’re only worried about animals like deer, a mesh bark protector may be enough to keep them from stripping your trees.

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Burlap Plant Covervia

Burlap Plant Cover

A simple roll of burlap is a surprisingly effective plant cover for winter. Often used on evergreens, burlap protects plants without restricting air movement. And it has many other uses in the garden — some people roll it out as a weed barrier in the summer. Burlap sacks will do the trick, too.

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Mulch at the base of a tree trunk at Winter approachesRoberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

Mulch Plant Cover

Mulch is a must for winter plant covers. Spreading a layer around the base of a plant helps regulate soil temperatures and protect roots.

Fall leaves are a convenient and inexpensive choice, especially when shredded first. For plants that need a deep layer of mulch, create a wire cage to hold the shredded leaves in place.

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Plastic Plant Coversvia

Plastic Plant Covers

Plastic plant covers are another option. There are plastic row covers, which function much like a fabric frost blanket, and plastic cloches. Cloches aren’t a great choice for rows, but work well for smaller, individual plants.

The National Gardening Association says cloches with less ventilation will keep air warmer — so warm it can damage plants. An empty gallon of milk with the bottom cut off is an easy DIY option. Take the cap off for ventilation during the day and screw it back on at night to keep plants warm.

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Frost Blanketvia

Frost Blanket

Plants, like people, appreciate a blanket when it’s cold outside. Any old blanket or bed sheet will work for a sudden frost, but you can purchase frost blankets specifically designed for the garden. They’re usually larger than a regular blanket and cover more plants.

This rectangular plant cover has grommets around the edge so you can stake it down without damaging the blanket.

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Small Greenhousevia

Small Greenhouse

Container gardens can benefit year-round from a hobby greenhouse. These large plant covers protect from frost and pests, and can be used indoors to keep cats out of plants.

This greenhouse features a sturdy steel frame, eight shelves and a clear PVC cover. Each side is less than five feet long so it won’t take up too much room in the yard. It’s just right for a corner near the patio.

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Pop Up Plant Covervia

Best Pop-Up Plant Cover

If you don’t have a ton to plants or are tight on storage space, pop-up plant covers are a good option. These plant covers fold flat for storage and pop open in seconds to protect plants from frost and light snow. They come in several shapes, such as this cylinder version, and all include stakes to keep it grounded in windy weather.

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Mikayla Borchert
Mikayla is an assistant editor for Family Handyman, specializing in indoor and outdoor gardening, organization and décor. She has one cat and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, she likes running, skiing, hiking and tending her balcony garden.