Pre warming soil - what are the benefits? 

Winter can be a frustrating time for gardeners, with little to do and even less to see.  
But for those of us eager to get going with the sowing and growing, there are ways to cheat the cold weather, give our seeds a little bit of a head start... and give us all something to do!  
Warming your soil in winter is the best way to get a run on the growing season, as it allows you to plant and sow earlier than usual. 

Which fruit and vegetables are suitable for early planting? 

Vegetables such as leeks, onions, radishes, beetroot, spinach and other greens benefit particularly well from pre-warming soil, germinating earlier than usual.  
This also has the benefit of increasing the length of the cropping season, allowing you to get more harvests as well as make space for summer and warm weather plants. 

When should I pre-warm soil for early sowing? 

Warming soil from just after New Year until early spring is ideal for early crops, as this is when the temperatures are coolest and the sun is at its weakest. Heavier soils such as clay can take a particularly long time to warm up, so remember to get started as early as possible! Other soil types such as sand and loam tend to warm up quicker and can be a little more forgiving. 

How do I pre-warm soil? 

There are a few techniques for pre-warming soil. One way is to cover your soil with mulch such as compost or straw. An equally common way is to cover your raised bed or veg patch with some flexible plastic sheeting. A third option is to use a dedicated plastic or poly plant cover such as a cloche, polytunnel or mini greenhouse. 
Alternatively, check out our four solutions below! 

Solution 1: Pop n Crop Plant Umbrella Greenhouse  

The Pop n Crop "Poly Brolly" Plant Umbrella Greenhouse is a unique way to ripen crops and pre-warm soil for early planting.  
It really couldn't be simpler or quicker to use - simply open the brolly, push the spike into the ground and peg down! 
At approx 1m diameter and 0.75m high, this cover fits neatly over a similar size raised bed or veg patch 

Solution 2: Pro Gro Mini Poly Tunnel  

For something a bit bigger, our Pro Gro Mini Poly Tunnel comes in at 2 metres long!  
It features a high grade poly cover and carbon fibre rods to ensure more strength and longevity than standard "hoop & wire" tunnels.  
Large zip doors give easy access to plantings. 

Solution 3: MiniPol Pop Up Mini Greenhouse Cover  

Our MiniPol Pop Up Greenhouse is ideal for growing and ripening individual plants, protecting against pests and weather and pre-warming soil for extending the growing season.  
These handy 0.5m cubes assemble in seconds – simply pop them out of their bag. Acting much like a bell cloche, the Mini Pol also folds down into a small storage bag, meaning no bulky plant covers taking up space in the shed or garage! 

Solution 4: Pop Up Poly Tunnel Cloche  

This Mini Poly Tunnel Cloche retains heat and humidity, making it ideal for pre-warming soil for early planting.  
Our pop up cloches self-assemble in seconds - simply open the bag and they pop into shape. No work or tools needed!  
Use them on veg patches and raised beds or put them inside larger poly tunnels for ultra quick soil warming! 
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