Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Does Wind Chill Affect Plants?

If you live in a cold winter climate, you are familiar with the word "cold". It is a measure of how cold the current combination of wind and air temperature feels. Even if the temperature in the morning is not too cold, the cold wind in the afternoon will also produce dangerous cold wind chill effect. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

Gardeners may want to know the effects of wind chill on plants. Do plants feel cold? Can wind chill affect plants? The short answer to these two questions is no, but that does not mean that your plant must be safe. Cold wind and low temperature will damage garden plants, even if they have no response to wind chill factors.

raised garden bed

What is wind chill?

How does cold air produce wind chill temperature? Warm blooded animals, including humans, emit enough heat to warm a thin layer of air around our bodies. This is called the "boundary layer" and is used to isolate us from the cold air.

This is where the cold wind comes in. As they pass, the cold wind blows away the boundary layer of warm air that protects us from the cold. After the wind blows away this boundary layer, it will take away heat from our bodies faster. The stronger the cold air, the more heat it can take away. The greater the temperature difference between the body and the air, the faster the heat will be lost. The air "feels" colder than the thermometer actually shows.

Wind chill and plants

Are plants affected by wind chill? Let's start from the beginning. All gardeners know that plants are affected by cold. They are affected differently, depending on the "cold tolerance" of the plant. Compared with tropical exoticism, very cold tolerant plants are less affected by cold temperatures. Over time, plants that have the opportunity to "harden" gradually will do better than those that are suddenly exposed to the cold.

But what about plants and wind chill? Plants do not suffer from wind chill as animals do. They do not generate heat, nor do they attempt to maintain a stable internal temperature. Instead, they usually end up at roughly the same temperature as the ambient air.

Remember, your plants have no nerves, so they won't "feel" the wind chill effect. Cold and dry wind can damage plants, but dry wind is harmful to plants. This is especially true for evergreen plants whose leaves are susceptible to winter winds.

raised garden beds

Protect plants from cold and wind

Protecting plants from the cold is familiar to most gardeners. You may have applied mulch to the soil to keep the root and base areas warm. Lightweight mulch, such as straw or dry leaves, can be stacked higher to protect more plants. Garden fabrics or even newspaper layers can also be used to cover the ground. This prevents large temperature fluctuations.

The same protective measures used to protect plants from the cold can provide wind protection. In addition to covering and garden fabrics, using mini greenhouses or even inverting large flower pots on small plants can prevent cold air from entering.