Wind Damage to Your Newly Transplanted Plants

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on July 15, 2011

Where I live, the wind from the South is constant much of the year. Sometimes it is a mere whisper, other times a gale, but it is almost always there. The trees are bent leaning towards the North it is so strong a force. If the wind can cause a tree to grow bent over, imagine what it can do to you tender transplants.

In West Texas, where my parents are from, there are miles of cotton fields.  One of the lessons of the Dust Bowl was to plant windbreaks to protect the soil.  Now you see a single row of trees at the edge of each field.There is also usually a row of trees by the farmer’s house, although that didn’t stop sand storms from blasting sand into the homes through every crevice it could find.

Even if you do not live in West Texas, you need to protect your transplants from wind.  The old way was to put a big coffee can with the top and bottom out over the top of the plant to shield it from the wind and cold for a week or so until the plants toughened up.  To the uninitiated, it looked like neat rows of coffee cans had just been planted.  Many a city slicker has had there leg pulled by being told this was where cans of coffee came from!

Now you can buy various items from gardening stores to shield your newly transplanted vegetable plants.  It doesn’t really matter what you use, so long as it keeps the wind off the plant but allows in the light.  Use it for about a week, until the plants toughen up, then remove it.  It will be in the plants way otherwise.

It is amazing how many things we can learn from the Dust Bowl.  Wind breaks are one of them.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Middleton July 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

A good way of toughing a plant up against the rigours of the weather is to ‘harden’ them off. This involves exposing your plants to the weather during the day for a few hours and gradually increasing exposure over a couple of weeks. Your plants will respond by thicking weaker stems. However, so windy days are far too windy. Try using the iron rods (used in concrete reinforment) to support your plants. Bend them into semi-hoops and wig-wam them around your plants. Very re-usable!


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