Dry - Warm - Cool - Pest-free - Productive - Practical ... All Are Possible
To dry, to warm, to cool, to protect.
There's a cover for that.
Anytime we need to dry a bed for planting, we cover it with black plastic. In the fall, when we've cleared a bed, composted it, we put it to sleep under plastic to ward off weeds and to prevent winter-leaching of nutrients.
To create a warm-enough climate in early spring, and again in the fall, we cover growing beds with clear plastic greenhouse film.
In order for peas to mature before fall's hard frosts, we must plant peas by August 1st. To cool the soil, to foster germination, we plant, mulch and cover the bed with shade cloth.
To protect beans and potatoes from beetles, cabbages from moths, squash from their particular bugs, arugula and eggplant from flea beetles, we cover beds with lightweight, fabric row cover, removing the protection when plants are tough enough to stand some damage, or when it's time for pollination. Organic gardening has never been so easy.
Eliot Coleman's newest publication, The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses details practices easily adaptable to the deep raised bed turned mini-greenhouse. Year-round vegetable gardening isn't limited to coastal California!
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