As autumn approaches and early frosts threaten then you may decide to use garden fleece. But what is garden fleece and how do you use it?

What is Garden Fleece?

Eco fleece blanket keeping pests off vegetable plants

Garden fleece, also known as horticultural fleece, is a versatile and indispensable tool for gardeners - especially vegetable gardeners. It is a lightweight fabric, typically made from polypropylene, which creates a protective barrier over plants, shrubs, and crops. Its primary function is to shield delicate vegetation from adverse weather conditions, especially frost, hail and heavy rain.

Types of Garden Fleece

There are various types of garden fleece available, each with specific attributes. Standard garden fleece provides a moderate level of frost protection, preventing young plants from succumbing to freezing temperatures in spring and autumn. Extra thick fleece, on the other hand, offers more robust insulation and is ideal for shielding tender plants during harsh winters.

What is Garden Fleece Used For?

Garden fleece serves a multitude of purposes in horticulture, making it an essential tool for gardeners of all levels.

Frost Protection

Easy Fleece Tunnel plant protection against frost

One of its primary applications is protecting plants from frost damage. By covering susceptible plants with fleece, gardeners can create a microclimate that traps heat and prevents freezing temperatures from harming their garden. This is particularly crucial for early-season crops like tomatoes and delicate perennials.

Pest and Insect Control

Additionally, garden fleece acts as a natural barrier against pests and insects. When draped over crops, it serves as a physical deterrent, keeping marauding birds, insects, and even larger animals at bay. This can be especially helpful when cultivating fruits like strawberries and raspberries.

Seed Germination

Gardeners can use fleece to facilitate seed germination – protecting seeds from harsh weather and wildlife such as birds or squirrels.

Pre Warming Soil

Laying our Fleece blanket garden fleece to warm soil and extend gardening season

It can be used to cover the bare ground prior to planting to warm the soil.  Peg it in place around 6 weeks before you wish to plant and the seedlings will be able to establish much more quickly. 

Protecting young Seedlings

By covering newly sown seeds, it helps maintain a stable temperature and humidity level, creating optimal conditions for sprouting. This accelerates the germination process and improves seedling survival rates, ensuring a more productive garden. Whether safeguarding against frost, pests, or promoting plant growth, garden fleece is an indispensable tool for any gardener looking to nurture a thriving and flourishing garden in the ever-changing UK climate.

Haxnicks Garden Fleece solutions

Which fleece you need depends on how you are growing your plants

  • Single large / specimen plants
  • Plants in rows like veg seedlings
  • Plants in Beds – veg seedlings

Easy Fleece Jackets

Easy fleece jackets garden fleece plant protection for shrubs hanging baskets and plants

The Haxnicks Easy Fleece Jacket. is a simple way to protect exotic plants, hanging baskets and other semi-hardy plants in pots patio containers. You can buy horticultural fleece from a giant roll at the Garden Centre. But this is unruly, hard to fit and requires securing. The fleece jacket is quicker and easier. Slip it over your plant and the job is done. Secure with the integral, rot-proof drawstring and locking toggle = instant protection against frost, harsh weather and pests. 

They come in three sizes (small, medium and large) and two designs – Original and Green Fern

Easy Fleece Tunnels

Haxnicks Easy Fleece Tunnels Giant and Standard

The Easy Fleece Tunnel is a simple to use plant protection tunnel that concertinas out so that you can access your plants.  It keeps the seedlings snug and like the Fleece Blanket it can be put out over bare soil to prewarm the soil prior to planting. It creates warmth and insulation whilst allowing water and sunlight to filter through to the plant.

Ideal for spring vegetables such as: Beetroot, Carrot, Cauliflower, Courgette, Lettuce, Marrow, Pepper, Potato, Tomato and Radish. The Giant Fleece Tunnel is especially good for starting off brassicas like your Christmas Brussels Sprouts. It will protect them while they are young and tender. 

You can also use an Easy Poly Tunnel to do the same job. The advantage of a Fleece Tunnel is that it will provide more protection from frost and is breathable later in the season when a poly tunnel would be too warm.  But the Poly Tunnel will allow a little mroe light and trap more heat so could be better to establish your seedlings.  Both will warm the soil though for early planting.  

Extra Thick Fleece Blanket

Fleece balnket plant protection frost protection for vegetable garden

If your plants are in the ground rather than containers then it may be a Fleece blanket you need to instantly cosset your crops. Simply peg down with Ground Pegs and it allows you to cover a large flat area.  As well as giving seedlings time to establish it also protects your soil and prevents soil erosion which can be harsh in the winter. Particularly good if you live in an exposed area.  

We hope this has inspired you and helps you make an informed choice when choosing your winter plant protection this year..  

The correct plant protection will allow you to extend your growing season and get more from your garden. For more tips then chcek out our 5 Tips to Extend your Growing Season