Dry - Warm - Cool - Pest-free - Productive - Practical ... All Are Possible
START EARLIER IN SPRING, KEEP GOING LONGER INTO FALL, EVEN INTO WINTER!
Clear greenhouse film draped over the beds, supported on and clamped to the metal hoops, allows the gardener to moderate the too-low temperatures of late winter/early spring and fend off frosts in the fall.
KEEPING IT WARM
It's March 1st. The soil is dry enough to plant, thanks to the sheets of black plastic draped over the beds on EMT (metal electrical conduit) or PVC hoops. The leek seedlings in the greenhouse are ready to go out; bags of savoy spinach, red russo lettuce, and french breakfast radishes crowd your garden basket ... but your last frost date is six weeks away.
|Don't let that stop you. Raised beds, covered with greenhouse film, will give you a jump on the season. On sunny days, the temperature inside the covered beds will rise significantly. To moderate the temperature, just open the ends or loosen a side and fold it up and half-way over. Snap clamps make it easy to secure the sheeting over the individual raised beds.|
The covers also protect young or emerging plants from a drying wind. Just remember to vent them open - or even fold them back - on sunny days, and close them up before evening!
Mulch, whether leaves or straw, serves several purposes. A thin layer over a newly-seeded bed keeps the soil moist longer, keeps a crust from forming. Tucked between the rows of seedlings, mulch provides a blanket-like protection from cold and wind.
NEXT: KEEPING IT COOL
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