It’s been winter here for some time, at my place, as it will be at yours. So here are some ideas of others combined with one of my own for covers for plants in late fall or early spring.
Some of us see high winds, so that’s also covered. The following is for lowering costs of tending larger covered gardens.
You’ve probably seen the greenhouse frames built with low-cost small-diameter electrical conduit—something that can be painted with latex for extra UV protection, BTW. Link those conduit hoops together (with tight loops around each one before proceeding to the next) and anchor them at the ends with barbless wire. In my area, barbless wire (no barbs) is about $60 per quarter mile roll at the ranch supply store and can be used for many seasons. Drill small holes in the conduit hoops, and use plenty of wire with small intervals between strands for a frame of greater strength. Stake down the ends if needed (at least two at about 45 degree angles from each end).
Small enough intervals to support the lower cost, thinner clear plastic sheeting for protection against early season cold. Store the plastic, when it isn’t needed. You might be able to use it another season.
And shade cloth, of course—generally much less expensive than plastic. Shade cloth over the frame described above will help to protect against high winds and hailstorms (hailstorms in mid-summer for me).
Hope that helps those of you in brutal climates like my own and others who want to extend their gardening seasons. I’d also like to see low-cost methods for covering plants from any of you willing to comment. Thanks for the gardening post and thread.
[I buy seeds from Missouri sometimes, BTW. ...heirloom seeds, because many of those are for short-season produce for climates like my own. They also help to cut seed costs. I can even keep and use seed potatoes for an extra season or two, because of the high altitude here: over 9,000 feet elev. No worries about fungi or other potato diseases.]
It’s windy in TX today and yesterday. Guess it’s the front coming in which is supposed to give us a freeze on Monday. It’s supposed to last through Thanksgiving.
Update on the green beans vs. deer. The beans lost. Hubby was taking out the trash a couple nights ago and nearly ran into a big boy having supper. I don’t want to mess with putting up an electric fence but I might have to next spring. I’ve already rearranged the plans for the spring planting but I might have to rework them again to get the beans onto another fence. It’s going to mess up my watering to do that but don’t know what else to do.
Maybe hubby can pee along the fence and that’ll stop the deer? Any ideas on that?
There’s a few little green tomatoes, some greens and of course lots of those ridiculously HOTTTTTTT jalapenoes. I’m throwing out those jalapeno seeds and finding another variety. I sprayed the fall squash but it didn’t help so they’re gone along with the fall cukes.
I have successfully had a winter garden for salads the last 2 years. Next to one of my southwest patios is a concrete retaining wall. I put a raised bed next to the retaining wall.
I bought a little white wire fence on sale from Walmart for $2.00, put it around the other three sides. I anchored a double layer of floating row covers on top of the retaining wall, cover the bed, and anchor it next to the fence with logs from our firewood supply.
The concrete heats up in the daylight, and release heat at night. Sometimes I also line the sides with milk jugs full of water. I add straw and other cover as needed.
To access, I lift up the row cover on the retaining wall for access. Very cheap. Everything except the fence was on hand already, and everything was reusable. It’s sort of a cold frame type of arrangement using row cover.
Carrots, spinach, lettuce, green onions, and garlic have grown well. I also have perennials this year in another such bed Rosemary, Stevia, tarragon, and lilac so we’ll see how it goes.
Where are you gardening that your winters are so harsh and your winds so brutal?