Planket Frost Protection Cover: Product Review
Do you have plants that you’d like to protect from frost? Maybe they’re in pots and are too heavy to move to a safer location when cold weather hits. Or perhaps there’s that one small tree or special plant in the landscape that you’d like to keep safe.
Whatever the situation, you need to protect that plant from freeze and frost damage. So you drape an old bedsheet over it, tape sheets of newspaper around it, or carefully wrap it in pieces of bubble wrap. Very attractive, right? And not always the easiest thing to do.
That’s where the Planket comes in. It’s a funny name, but the “plant blanket” makes frost protection easier and more appealing to look at than any other option I know.
So what is it?
The Planket is a round piece of green, nonwoven fabric with a cinch cord around the edge. Drape it over your plant, tighten the cord around the base or stem of the plant, and lock the cinch toggle in place. That’s all there is to it (although it takes a bit of practice to get the cinching part right). No staking, tying, or weighting the edges required.
Cinches in Place
Because the cinch cord runs around the circumference of the Planket, it’s very long. For example, the cord on the 6-foot Planket is just over 22 feet long! So you’ll have to pull a lot of cord through the channel around the edge of the Planket before it will cinch down around the plant pot or stem. And then you’ll have 10 feet or so of cord lying on the ground. After getting the cord tangled up several times (which made it very difficult to un-cinch the Planket), I ended up using a twist tie to keep the cord neatly held together while the Planket was in use although I suppose you could also wrap it around the plant.
How the Planket Works
The Planket is made of spun-bonded, nonwoven material similar to what you find in landscape fabric and row covers. It’s very lightweight and breathable yet strong and durable.
It works to prevent frost damage the same way as any other cover – by creating a pocket of air around the plant that stays warmer than the surrounding air.
Related Article: How to Protect Your Plants from Frost Damage
The main differences between the Planket and other materials you may have used are that the non-woven material holds heat in better than a woven material (like a sheet) and the cinch cord makes it much easier to secure around your plant.
A Size for Any Plant
The Planket comes in a variety of round sizes to fit most potted plants or small trees, including 6-foot diameter (for 2’x2′ plants), 8-foot diameter (for 3’x3′ plants), and 10-foot diameter (for 4’x4′ plants) Plankets. There’s also a 10’ x 20’ rectangular Planket to cover larger areas or hedges, along with plastic landscape stakes to anchor it to the ground.
Although the fabric is lightweight, it’s heavier and thicker than most other “frost blankets” I’ve seen. Don’t drape it over soft-stemmed or fragile plants without first surrounding the plant with stakes to hold up the Planket.
I found that the fabric tended to catch on thorns (such as on roses or bougainvillea) and broken stems; then again, so would a bed sheet or any other fabric. In spite of that, the Planket didn’t tear, even after surviving a wind storm while draped over a very spiny bougainvillea.
Good Shade Cover
[OptinLink id=1] The Planket also makes a good shade cover. Here you see it on support hoops inserted into an elevated cedar planter, both from Gardener’s Supply. [/OptinLink]
Here in Tucson, AZ the harsh sun can quickly kill tender plants, or at least make them wilt pitifully. So when my lettuce started to wilt, I quickly covered them with a Planket. The material is light enough to attach to wire hoops (I used these support hoops from Gardener’s Supply and fastened the cloth with binder clips) to create a shade cloth tunnel. The rectangular (10′ x 20′) Planket would be best for this but you can see that the 8-foot circle works as well.
Things to Note
The fabric seems to be somewhat water resistant. Rain water tends to pool in depressions when the Planket is draped over a larger plant and, unless you have the Planket well staked to the ground, the weight of the water can easily pull the stakes out of the ground.
The plastic stakes that come with the 10′ x 20′ Planket aren’t particularly effective. It’s difficult to get them into hard or rocky soil (hitting them with a hammer just causes them to bend or break) and they don’t stay anchored in soft or sandy soil. I recommend using sturdier stakes instead, either metal landscape stakes or thick plastic tent stakes. And be sure to push them into the ground at an angle, with the point pointing inward (toward the plant).
The large Planket has plastic grommets along the edge through which to put the stakes when anchoring it to the ground. I would have preferred metal grommets; the plastic ones broke loose when I tried to pull the stakes out of the ground. They did stay put through several wind storms though so if you’re careful when removing the stakes, the grommets will likely be okay.
The Planket is an easy-to-use frost protection cover that fits most potted plants, shrubs, and even hedges or small trees. It’s reusable, tough and effective. Cinching the drawcord can be awkward (especially the first time). The large (10′ x 20′) Planket comes with plastic landscape stakes and grommets that could be improved; you may want to use your own stakes instead. Overall, it’s a good product that should provide frost protection to your plants for many years.
Where to Buy
The Planket is available at many national retailers and big box stores. To find one near you, check the company’s website.
You can also buy it online directly from the company with prices ranging from $9.95 for the 6-foot Planket to $19.95 for the rectangular one. Shipping is by UPS and is extra.
For those of you who prefer Amazon, you’ll find the Planket there for slightly less, plus free shipping (with a Prime membership).
And now over to you – Have you tried any type of frost protection in your garden? How did it work? Let us know in the comments below!
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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank The Planket for giving us a free Planket to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.
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