Harsh winters can be hard on outdoor plant walls. Here are some ways to protect your vertical garden from frost and freezing.
Cover your Vertical Garden with Clear Plastic
When You’re Expecting a freeze, cover your vertical garden with lightweight plastic sheeting. If it’s against an existing interior wall then it will get just enough heat from the house to keep it warm and just above freezing. If it’s out on it’s own or mounted to a super-insulated house you’ll need to add some warmth.
Winter Protection. Florafelt Living Wall by Marika Shiori Clark, Hingetown, Cleveland, Ohio.
During the most frigid winter in years, this monumental living wall is surviving with a clever frost protection method in Cleveland’s Hingetown neighborhood.
Bubblewrap makes a compact insulated greenhouse
Lumber edging provides sturdy support for the bubble wrap, keeping it in place during high winds. Radiating building warmth provides just enough heat in the planted area to keep it from freezing. The system provides a mini greenhouse to give the plants warmth and light for minimal photosynthesis during their dormant stage.
Lay in wait for spring
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the plants stay healthy through this harsh winter and come back in spectacular fashion!
Hingetown is a vibrant new hub near downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Architect Marika Shiori Clark, the creator of this Florafelt living wall has been working hard with neighborhood volunteers to build a sustainable community in this once forgotten industrial victorian-clad hub of town.
Add Christmas Lights
Incandescent Christmas lights emit just enough heat to keep the frost away. Also available are netted Christmas lights that come in a sheet. These can be easily draped over the plant wall to keep it warm through the coldest days.
Add Heating Elements Behind the Living Wall
Electrical elements can be installed behind the vertical garden before the system goes up. This internal heating system can keep it warm when temperatures drop below freezing. The system can be automated to come on by thermostat as needed. Alternatively hot water tubing can be run behind the wall and connected to an existing interior hot water system.
Adding up lights at the base of the garden not only looks amazing but can also provide just enough heat to keep the plants happy during the frosty months. Incandescent or metal halide lights make just enough heat that will rise upward on the wall to keep plants nice and cozy.
Plant Seasonally Every Year
Some climates are just too harsh to practically keep a plant while alive. You can simply plan on planting fresh plants every spring. Save money by starting with seeds and include annuals with lots of bright floral color. Grasses will fill in nicely then die back each year which can be trimmed back and will often reseed themselves.