You already know that plants will die if they can’t withstand the cold temperatures that come with winter. Uncovered plants can suffer from “winter burn,” which occurs with a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. Some people use plastic to wrap their plants, but this actually constricts the airflow of your foliage. Instead, you should use burlap to protect your plants during winter months as it allows the plants to breathe, air can circulate, and heat is not trapped.
What plants need to be covered?
If you live somewhere with mild winter temperatures, you might be able to get away with a thin layer of mulch protecting your plants. Perennials often last, but need protection if they’re planted in poorly drained, soggy soil.
Newly planted trees and shrubs need covering for the first three winters.
Broadleaf evergreen shrubs like azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons all require covering.
Potted plants are extremely susceptible to cold and need several burlap layers to effectively protect the roots.
Using stakes on any plant wrapped for winter protection is necessary to prevent molding. If a plant is wrapped without stakes, the fluctuating temperatures can cause mold. Using the stake method will keep the burlap from smooshing against the needles, and will prevent you from having the replace the trees come Spring due to molding.
Place the stakes so they’re submerged about 4-5 inches into the ground.
Using twine, tie the stakes together with secure knots.
Wrap enough burlap around the stakes to create a double layer around the tree, shrub, or other plant.
Secure the burlap wrap around the top of the stakes by using more twine.
Cut away the remaining fabric.
Take one more piece of twine and wrap it around the secured burlap to keep it in place.
Tie the last bit of twine around the base of one of your stakes to secure the protective mechanism.
Landscape fabric is one of the easiest ways to keep weeds out of your beautiful garden. Landscaping fabrics are made from woven polypropylene or burlap, and can be installed in your garden beds to prevent unwanted growth, create pathways and flower beds, and even protect your plants from unwanted critters searching for something to snack on.
You can install your own landscape fabric in ten easy steps, but first, make sure you have these gardening tools:
You want a clean start, so begin by ridding your garden of any existing weeds.
Using your tiller or garden fork, turn your soil. If you’re choosing to use any compost or soil additives, this is the time to add them. You won’t be able to add to the soil once you’ve laid your landscaping fabric.
To smooth the area, use your rake to clear the soil of any extra debri like sticks, rocks, or roots. Dispose of all debris, and then rake over the soil once more.
Lay your roll of fabric down at one end of the garden, and unroll to the desired length.
Now take out your scissors knife. Cut this long piece of fabric so it covers the entire area. You’ll also want to cut additional large sized pieces of fabric. Overlap these extra pieces by 12 inches for added protection against weeds managing to escape through the gaps.
Use your knife to cut slits in the fabric where you already have plants. Place these lit around the base of the plant’s stem.
You don’t want your new garden bed to have unsightly bunches of lumps, so take this time to smooth the cover over your soil.
Push a landscape staple into the fabric every few three or so feet. Make sure you secure all edges as well as the places where two sheets of fabric meet or overlap.
Now you’re ready to place your new plants. Cut an X into the fabric according to your new garden plan. Dig a hole where you’ve placed the X. Now you can place your plant. Cover the exposed roots with extra soil, and place the landscape cover back over the soil.
Once you’ve completed planting all of your new plants, cover the entire landscape fabric with two inches mulch. You want mulch around your plants as well, but be careful not to pile it up against the fragile stems.
Preparing for the first frost can help prevent the unnecessary loss of your fall garden. Don’t let the first cold morning catch you by surprise. Follow Commercial Bag & Supply’s guide to prepare your garden for the first frost, and you can protect your flowers and autumn crops.
How to Prepare your Garden for the First Frost
-Cover your plants with a nursery cover before the sun sets. This will help retain heat underneath the cover and prevent frost from affecting your plants.
-If you use a plastic cover to retain heat, make sure to remove it in the morning as it might “cook” the plants by retaining too much heat in the daytime.
-If you’re growing cucumbers, cover them with newspapers. You can also use old bed sheets or straw since they are low-growing.
-Use paper grocery bags or trash bags to cover caged tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants.
-Vegetables that don’t need to be covered include cabbage, Chinese cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
-Vegetables that can handle some frost include chives, peas, carrots, lettuce, and spinach.
-When a freeze is forecast, bring potted plants and flowers inside.
-Spread 2-2.5 inches of mulch around rock garden plants, perennials, alpine, strawberry, or plants with shallow roots after the soil has frozen. This added mulch will help protect your plant roots by preventing the soil from freezing.
After the First Freeze
If you’ve already experienced the first freeze, not all hope is lost. You’ll know when your plants have been damaged by a frost if the leaves have turned dark brown or black, or if they appear shriveled or look water-soaked. You can also protect plants from impending frost damage by watering them. This seems somewhat contradictory, but the water will help to maintain the internal temperatures of your plants above freezing.
No matter the month, there’s always something you can do in the garden. Follow Commercial Bag and Supply’s October Gardening Guide for simple tasks to complete that ensure the beauty of your garden come spring.
October Gardening Guide for Vegetables
Finish harvesting beans and peas by cutting the plant away at ground level.
Harvest all of your squash and pumpkins before the first frost.
Leave the root of your harvested cabbages in the ground and make a cut across the stem to encourage a bloom of smaller leaves.
If you have any green peppers or tomatoes, you can take them inside and hang them upside down to ripen.
Wrap your autumn cauliflower heads in their outer leaves and secure with string to protect from frost.
Plant autumn garlic bulbs and autumn onion sets for cropping next summer.
October Gardening Guide for Flowers
Plant tulip, Allium, and daffodil bulbs for a beautiful spring bloom.
If you’ve grown any perennials or biennials from seed, plant them now.
Plant barefoot ornamental shrubs and trees. October is also a great time to move shrubs and trees, or plant hedges.
Plant wallflowers, winter pansies, primulas, and bellis for a bright spring bedding.
Prune rambling and climbing roses once they’ve bloomed. Tie in the stems to prevent any damage from autumn winds.
Prevent diseases like black spot by cleaning up fallen rose leaves. Don’t compost these leaves.
You can either leave the dead foliage of perennial plants for over-wintering wildlife, or cut them back.
After you’ve cleaned up your garden, mulching with leaf mold, bark chips, spent mushroom compost, or well rotted manure will insulate your plants’ roots for the winter while keeping weed growth in check.
September 22 has come and gone, but it’s not too late to grow a fruitful fall harvest.
By following our fall vegetable garden guide, you’ll have fresh homegrown produce on the dinner table in no time.
What veggies can you plant during fall?
With winter weather right around the corner, you’ll want to plant vegetables that can go from seed to table in 40 days or less. In some areas of the country, like zones 8-10, growing season can last as late December, and a light frost will make your veggies taste a little sweeter. For the best harvesting outcome, we suggest these fall vegetables:
Plants that can grow despite light frosting include:
Preparing your Fall Vegetable Garden
Clear the space for your new veggies. Pull out all of the plants that are no longer performing well, like tomatoes and peas, or remnants from crops already harvested, like your potatoes, onions, or sweet corn. Pull out all of the weeds to give your new vegetables their best chance at growth. Any remaining weeds can absorb the moisture that your new plants need to grow. If you’re working with clay-heavy soil, you might find it helpful to add some organic matter, like compost, to the planting area.
Tending to your Fall Vegetable Garden
If you live in an area with particularly warm falls, you’ll want to be sure your garden is well-watered. Fall veggies will grow best with about an inch of water per week. Once your seedlings are established, you can transition from several lighter waterings to one deep watering each week.
As fall moves closer to winter, and frosts become more consistent, you may want to consider protecting your vegetables with a nursery cover. Commercial Bag & Supply is happy to asset you with custom garden fabric orders for any of your fall vegetable garden needs.
Agriculture is the backbone of America. But even agriculture must be held together by an even
smaller backbone: the textile industry. Farmers across the country use textiles on an every day basis to keep their agricultural operations growing strong. Do you know what agricultural textile qualities your fabrics need? Commercial Bag and Supply is proud to serve this industry with custom and wholesale orders of woven polypropylene and burlap.
Why does the agricultural industry need textiles?
Whether it’s woven polypropylene or burlap, your chosen agricultural textile must have certain qualities to keep your farm running strong.
Agricultural Textile Qualities
Ability to withstand solar and ultraviolet radiation. Many textiles are installed right after planting or sowing, so the fabric needs to be able to withstand solar radiation of the varying surrounding temperatures. Polypropylene is one textile that’s known for withstanding UV radiation so your plants are protected from harmful light exposure.
Is it biodegradable? Burlap is an excellent choice if your agricultural operation requires a biodegradable fabric.
Protect from critters. The last thing you want after spending all season planting is to find that stray animals have found your bounty and eaten through what you thought was a protecting fabric covering. When purchasing textiles for agricultural use, make sure it is abrasion resistant.
Water absorbent: depending on where and what you’re covering with textiles, you’ll want to check the absorbent ratings of your fabric. Non-woven materials provide a mass per unit area of 15-60 g/㎡ and materials used on embankments or slopes can provide between 100 and 500 g/㎡.
Protection from the elements – that seems like an easy one. What’s worse than an agricultural textile that doesn’t do its job? Your textile should aid in creating a micro-climate that balances the temperature and humidity. Your chosen fabric should also be resistant to any microorganisms that might harm your crops.
For other agricultural uses for textiles, or to place your next custom or wholesale order, contact a Commercial Bag and Supply specialist today!
When you go to the grocery store, the clerk will ask: “paper or plastic?” Multi-wall paper bags are just like the ones you carry your groceries in, but with more layers. These extra layers, or “walls,” are most often made of plastic film, polyethylene coated paper, or foil. These walls work as a protective layer, making your bags water-repellant and insect resistant. These layers also provide an additional barrier against rodents.
Multi-wall paper bags can be sewn in a handful of ways, but Commercial Bag & Supply specializes in two: Sewn Open Mouth (SOM) and Self Opening Square (SOS).
Sewn Open Mouth Paper Bags
These bags are filled by compression or gravity. An open mouth bag is fabricated at the sack plant and the top can be closed in a number of ways at the packing plant. SOM bags are gusseted and have easy open features, a sewn factory end, and a flush cut top.
Self Opening Square Paper Bags
A Self Opening Square paper bag is similar to an SOM bag, but they have a pasted block bottom. They also feature an open end flush cut and are gusseted. These bags are most identifiable by their square looking bottoms (think grocery bags!) when compared to sewn open mouth bags.
Multi-Wall Paper Bag Uses
Multi-wall paper bags can be a particularly handy item to have on hand for a number of industries. The most popular uses include storage for spices, bakery mixes, bulk food, pet food, agricultural feed and seed, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and minerals.
Order Multi-Wall Paper Bags
Commercial Bag & Supply specializes in custom orders, and is currently accepting orders for multi-wall paper bags in one of our specified manufactured sizes listed below:
Think you missed the seasonal boat for sprucing up your garden? Think again! By following our best practices for summer landscaping, you’ll be able to feast your eyes upon new blooms in just a few weeks’ time. For all your landscape fabric and nursery cover needs, Commercial Bag & Supply can help your summer garden with nearly any custom order.
Summer Landscaping Tips
Focus on planting hot-season vegetables rather than cool-season ones. This includes tasty treats like sweet potatoes, cowpeas, okra, eggplant, yardlong beans, and cowpeas. In addition to hot-season veggies, tropical bulbs are also ideal for summer gardens. Caladiums, cannas, gingers, and elephant ears will actually grow faster in the heat.
Try to be water-conscious. Don’t water your plants unless it’s necessary. This step can be helped by creating a drought-tolerant garden. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just forget about your plants entirely, but it does mean a low-maintenance garden. Make sure your soil remains moist until your plants have taken off.
That being said, make sure you’re watering your garden at the right time of day. That means morning time. By watering in the early hours, your roots will have a better opportunity of absorbing the moisture.
Don’t forget about the wellness of your grass. High summer temps can be particularly damaging to your lawn. Pick up some fertilizer from your local garden store, but avoid fertilizing on days that reach 90 degrees or higher.
Last but not least, don’t forget the weeding. You can let the weeds grow for a little while, but make sure you’ve pulled them before they bloom and go to seed. We suggest using a hook or mattock for established weeds and a hoe or cultivator for new weeds in looser soil.
For the at-home seamstress, using these ten industrial sewing techniques can take your project to the next level in professionalism. These tips are easy to follow when sewing cotton, canvas, and many other fabrics. For your next textile project, contact Commercial Bag and Supply.
Industrial Sewing Techniques Guide
Reduce your seam allowances. Typical home sewing patterns have seam allowances of 5/8″. For collars, cuffs, and waistbands, this larger allowance often results in the garment looking bulky. Reducing the seam allowance on enclosed seams to 1/4″ will save you time on trimming, grading, notching, and clipping.
Mark your notches by using 1/8″ nips. Rather than cutting diamond shapes, nipping will make your seams less susceptible to fraying.
Instead of pinning down your pattern to the fabric, hold it down with weights.
Make sure your piece of fabric is large enough that you can cut and mark all the pieces needed at once.
Sewing continuously will result in a cleaner looking final product. Butt your pieces end to end and stitch from one seam to another. When you get to the pressing station, then you can cut them apart.
Try to sew as many seams as you can before the initial pressing.
Save time by sewing flat. Sew the details first (collar, cuffs, waistband,etc.), then move on to the rest of the garment. Do as much sewing as you can before you sew together the side seams.
Sew buttonholes. When you’re ready to put the actual buttons on, open the holes with a punch rather than a seam ripper.
Avoid using pins as it distorts seams and slows down the process. Match corners at the start and finish of seams. Use both hands to sew and keep raw edges matched while sewing.
During the final pressing, start with the details. Move to the sleeves and the body. Press your buttons from the wrong side. Allow pressed areas to cool down before you begin pressing a new section.
Planting and harvesting your garden can be one of the most rewarding seasonal activities on your own or with your loved ones. Using these seed storage tips, you can keep growing your vegetable strains year after year.
How long will stored seeds last?
Depending on what kind you’re storing, seeds can last anywhere from a year to more than five years.
Seeds to use quickly:
Seeds that last last 3-4 years:
How should you salvage vegetable seeds?
Vegetables that are more “fleshy” should be seeded when fully ripe. These vegetables include tomatoes, squash, melons, and the like. Other vegetables like beans and peas should be left on the vine until their pods are dried out and crackly. Corn needs to be left on the stalk until the kernels dent. For fleshy-vegetables seeds:
– Scoop out the seeds
– Spread them out on a paper towel
– Leave the seeds to dry in a well-ventilated area
Is freezing bad for seeds?
Freezing seeds is better for long-term storage. The cold temperatures will actually extend the lifespan of the stored seeds.
Can you expect growth from frozen seeds?
The simple answer? Yes. You can check the germination rate by putting a damp paper towel in a plastic bag with some of the seeds. Then place the plastic bag into a warm area of the house. After about one week, you should begin to see germination occurring.
How to Store Seeds
Prepare the amount of mason jars you’ll need for proper separation of your seeds
Place a cheesecloth bag of dry powdered milk at the bottom of the jar
Put the seeds into each jar
Label and date the jars
Place the jars in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage
Commercial Bag & Supply
1244 2nd Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Toll Free: 1-800-383-1269