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Garden fleece over a raised bed

Garden fleece is a versatile tool that can help protect your plants and extend the growing season. In this guide, we'll cover what garden fleece is, when to use it, and how to store it effectively.

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1. What is Garden Fleece?

Garden fleece, also known as horticultural fleece or plant protection fleece, is a lightweight, permeable fabric made of spun-bonded polypropylene. It's designed to shield plants from various environmental factors while allowing light, air, and moisture to pass through.

Garden fleece comes in rolls or sheets and is available in various thicknesses to suit different needs.

2. When to Use Garden Fleece

The use of garden fleece varies depending on the season and the specific needs of your plants. Here are some guidelines for using garden fleece throughout the year:

In Spring:

  • Protect early-spring seedlings from frost.
  • Cover tender plants during late frosts.
  • Encourage early growth by creating a warm microclimate.

In Summer:

  • Shield plants from intense sunlight and heat.
  • Prevent insect and bird damage.
  • Use as a floating row cover for pest management.

In Autumn:

  • Extend the growing season by protecting against early frosts.
  • Keep late-season crops like lettuce and carrots thriving.
  • Shield plants from strong winds and heavy rain.

In Winter:

  • Insulate perennial plants and shrubs from freezing temperatures.
  • Protect against frost heaving, which can damage plant roots.

Pros and Cons of Using Garden Fleece:

Pros Cons
Protects against frost and cold temperatures May require secure anchoring in windy areas
Acts as a barrier against pests Needs to be removed periodically for watering
Allows for light, air, and moisture penetration Can restrict plant growth if left on too long
Lightweight and easy to handle Needs to be stored properly when not in use

3. How to Store Garden Fleece and Its Lifespan

Proper storage ensures your garden fleece stays in good condition and lasts longer. Follow these tips:

  • Clean and Dry: Before storing, make sure the fleece is clean and dry. Shake off any dirt or debris.

  • Roll, Don't Fold: Roll the fleece tightly to prevent creases or wrinkles that can weaken the fabric.

  • Protect from UV: Store your fleece in a cool, dark place to protect it from UV radiation, which can break down the material over time.

  • Avoid Pests: Keep it away from potential pest infestations, as rodents may find it appealing for nesting.

The lifespan of garden fleece varies depending on its quality and usage. On average, good-quality fleece can last for several seasons.

However, be vigilant for signs of wear and tear, and replace it when it no longer provides effective protection. Proper storage can extend its lifespan.