Keeping your soil warm during the frosty winter months can be a significant challenge for many avid gardeners – even for those growing with a greenhouse. Unfortunately, with frozen soil, your plants may struggle to survive until harvest. But, with a bit of seasonal preparation and a few creative techniques, you can keep your soil at the optimal temperature and ensure that your greenhouse garden will thrive throughout the winter.
Plant in Raised Garden Beds and Pots
One of the best solutions for keeping your soil warm is by isolating the earth from the frozen ground during the winter. By using raised garden beds and pots, your soil will drain more easily and heat up much quicker than planting directly into the ground.
As an added bonus, both raised garden beds and pots will help keep your soil cool during the hot summer months too.
Preheat Your Soil
An easy way to start the winter season on the right foot is by preheating your soil. By using a dark covering such as a black plastic tarp, you can trap in the heat from the sun and keep your soil nice and warm. This clever tactic not only helps to soak up heat and moisture but also keeps your soil warm enough for easy transplanting and higher germination rates.
As the nights get colder, you can continue using this as a quick fix to reheat your garden beds and encourage growth well beyond the end of the regular planting season.
Add a Layer of Mulch to Your Garden Beds
A little bit of mulch goes a long way when protecting your soil from frost. Adding a layer of organic matter over your garden beds assists in preserving moisture, provides insulation, and most importantly, can prevent ice from forming. Lightweight mulch that won’t compact but instead act as a natural blanket over the earth will bring the best results.
We suggest adding a thick layer of mulch over your garden beds just after the first hard frost of the season.
Some of the top natural materials that can be used to insulate your soil include:
- Pine Needles
- Wood Chips
- Fallen Leaves
Focus on Winter Watering
Your watering habits throughout the winter months can greatly influence your soil and, as a result, the health of your garden. Damp soil can hold considerably more heat than dry soil. However, it’s critical to water your garden at the appropriate times. We suggest that you do the following to get the best results:
Thoroughly water your greenhouse garden before the first frost: By hydrating your soil while temperatures are above freezing, it will be able to hold in some thermal heat before the winter chill rolls in.
- Water your greenhouse garden during the day: Moving into winter, you should plan to water your garden while the sun is out. This way, your soil will be able to retain more heat and release moisture and warmth throughout the evening.
Use Nutrient-Rich Soil
It’s no secret that nutrient-dense soil is essential for a flourishing greenhouse garden. But did you also know that healthy soil can prevent your garden beds from freezing? Using high-quality soil rich in organic matter and nutrients helps keep just the right amount of moisture in the soil and decreases the rate of evaporation.
If you’re unsure of your soil’s health and nutrient levels, we suggest conducting a quick soil test before adding any additional supplements.
Keep Your Soil Warm With a Greenhouse
If you combine these suggestions with a quality winterized greenhouse, your soil should have no trouble soaking up the sun and providing enough warmth for your plants to thrive throughout the iciest winter months.
What do you do in the winter to keep your soil from freezing? We’d love to hear your recommendations! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Why Planta Greenhouses?
- Wind resistant up to 65 mph (learn more about how our greenhouses hold up in high-altitude climates).
- Withstands a snow load of up to 98 psf (480kg/square meter).
- Made with a heavy-duty galvanized steel frame.
- Polycarbonate panels provide 100% protection against UV rays.
- The Sungrow greenhouse is bell-shaped - allows the wind, snow, and hail to slide off the sides.
- Extendable (Sungrow, Sigma and Farmer models can be extended beyond 100ft)
- Made in Europe and are exclusively imported