Hot caps are miniature greenhouses. If you've ever driven past an early spring vegetable garden you've probably seen empty plastic milk cartons sitting in a row. These are a variation on the theme of hot caps. The milk carton bottoms have been cut out and set over seedlings to amplify the heat of the sun during the daylight hours and to keep the young plants insulated from the cold night temperatures when the sun goes down. They also protect against freezing. Making your own wax paper hot caps is well worth the effort. You'll really appreciate them when you sit down to servings of fresh produce from your garden.
Things You'll Need
- Wax paper
- Clear plastic tape
Cut two pieces of wax paper 18 inches long.
Lay the two pieces side by side and tape them together along the full 18-inch length.
Set a bowl on the table rim side down. The depth and diameter of the bowl should reflex the size hot cap desired.
Lay the wax paper sheet over the bowl and press it down over it. Pleat the paper by folding and finger pressing the excess paper and taping it down. Work all the way around the bowl.
Set the hot caps over young, in-ground plants. Sprinkle soil on the flat portion of wax paper flaring out from the domed wax paper to hold the hotcaps in place.
Tips & Warnings
- Use hot caps inside cold frames for added protection when temperatures may dip below freezing.
- Be careful cutting off wax paper from the roll; the serrated edge on the box can easily cut and nick hands.
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