Learn how to extend your growing season
From protective row covers to greenhouse and the placement of trees and other plants.
AHZZY Protective Row Cover with Greenhouse Support Hoops, 6Pack Adjustable 4ft Long Garden Grow Tunnel with 0.9oz Non-woven Row Cover for Greenhouse UV Frost Protection
Extending the growing season where I live is something that has to be done without it some crops would never get to harvest.
Some ways to extend your growing season are by using row covers, cold frames and greenhouses are a few ways to go, but your can also use permanent protection like trees.
What type of protection does your garden need?
If your garden is in an open area that is not protected from wind the soil will dry out fast and it has no natural protection from the cold.
A hedge of spruce trees 4’ or so away from the garden can be enough to increase the air temperature by a couple degrees Celsius.
Two rows of snow fencing about 60 feet apart will do the same thing.
If you don’t need to worry about a windbreak, but just want to extend your season then try something like plastic mulch, low row covers or agriculture cloth.
Plastic mulch can be laid directly on the ground in between rows or laid down and holes put in when planting your seedlings. Plastic mulch will warm the soil, help it retain moisture and keep the weeds down.
Clear plastic will warm the soil up better than black plastic, but the black plastic is better for keeping the weeds down.
Low row covers with hoops have wire hoops that go into the ground over your plants; the plastic is placed over the hoops and held down by dirt. These covers are open on either end to let the air flow thru.
Plastic covers with slits is also available these are better where the temperatures fluctuate because the slits help the air escape when it gets warm. They are lightweight and the advantage is you can easily remove them and move them around your garden.
Agriculture cloth is another kind of cover, a floating row cover. These cloths are made of fabric and float over the plants. They can be staked down with plastic pegs, soil or rocks. These covers let light, air and water through and also work to protect some plants from pests.
In the past few years I have chosen the agriculture cloth to extend my season. I cover my young seedling with it to protect them from the climates and help them harden to the outside. This cloth gives me about two weeks on either side of our growing season, and has saved me more than once from a mid summer frost.
Garden Row Cover Grow Tunnel Garden Blanket – 67 Inches x20 Feet
Greenhouses and Cold frames
Greenhouses and cold frames can also be used to extend your garden season. With row covers you can take them off and put them back on as needed, with the cold frames and greenhouses you will grow vegetables in them that will stay in them for the entire growing season with the exception of starting seeds.
In a northern climate there are some vegetables that just need to be grown in a greenhouse. Tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and peppers do much better in a greenhouse than outdoors.
To extend your growing season, row covers, cold frames and greenhouses are a few ways to go, but your can also use permanent protection like trees.
Vegetable gardens in areas that are not protected from the winds can dry the soil out fast leaving them unprotected from the wind and cold so snow fencing or a hedge can be ideal in helping with that problem.
Plastic mulch is an excellent way to warm up the soil as well as helping the soil to retain moisture and keeping the weeds down. Clear plastic will warm the soil up better than black plastic, but the black plastic will shade the weeds out.
These plastic mulches are available in biodegradable plastic.