Protect your winter roots
Straw is the simplest insulation material to use (it doesn’t matter if it’s barley or wheat) and it also protects against slug damage as a bonus! Lay a 3-4in (7-10cm) layer on the soil around your root crop, fluffing it up well to ensure plenty of insulating air pockets.
On all but the most sheltered of plots, you’ll need to secure the straw in place. This is easily done with a cover. Old sheets, fleece or even pea and bean netting work well. Weigh or pin the edges down. It doesn’t matter if the foliage gets flattened in the process.
Now that your crop is safely tucked away under cover, you can simply lift the roots as and when needed. If the straw starts to get soggy and flattened, fluff it up again as and when you can, and lay slug pellets if you know these pests are troublesome in your area.