Row covers can be as simple as a thin, old sheet. However, for best success a lightweight, spun-bonded polypropylene fabric is recommended. This type of row cover can be found at local garden centers at certain times of year as well as through garden supply catalogs.
Row covers can be laid on the ground right over the plants to be protected or stretched over hoops. Because of frequent wind, it may be preferable to use hoops to prevent excessive rubbing of the row cover on the tops of the plants. As the weather gets colder, multiple layers of row cover can be used to provide a few more degrees of protection.
Row covers should be carefully secured on the edges so that the wind does not blow them off the plants. When using hoops, the tighter the row cover is stretched over the hoops, the better. The edges can be secured with bricks, cement block, heavy timbers, metal pins, or old milk jugs filled with water.
I know I’ve been harping on the fall gardening topics a lot and you’ve probably seen this video before, but just in case you haven’t…
Okay, so I don’t actually have much to share as far as a regular photoessay this week. The garden is just bare dirt at this point! Over the next few months, Friday’s will probably become more of a collection of links and videos rather than being so picture heavy.
Okay, so this rainbow of cayenne peppers is from a couple weeks ago when we were cleaning the garden out. Pretty cool that we got such a range of colors though! Read the rest of this entry
According to the forecast, we’re supposed to get our first frost/freeze in the Wichita area tonight. I’m seeing 30 degrees as the projected low. Of course, I’m always skeptical of that first freeze until it actually happens. However, we have to assume it will happen. So, what do you do about your garden vegetables?
Here are my thoughts:
- Given the projected highs and lows for the next couple weeks, I don’t really see any point in trying to keep warm season vegetables/herbs going. My choice would be to pick whatever I can and let the rest go. It isn’t going to be warm enough in the next week to push many more of those tomatoes and peppers to mature and ripen.
- If you really want to try to keep warm weather loving plants alive, you will want to cover them. You might also consider pulling back any organic mulch (straw, grass, leaves) from around the plants so that the sun can keep that soil as warm as possible going into the cold nights.
- Cool weather loving vegetables and herbs (lettuce, spinach, root vegetables, thyme, sage, strawberries, broccoli, etc) shouldn’t need to be covered with this projected low temperature. They may sustain very minimal damage on the edges of older leaves, but they won’t be killed, and you will have little loss in edible value. Many of these vegetables get sweeter after a couple freezes. If you cover these vegetables tonight, be aware that they will need to be uncovered, because they will get too warm under a row cover most days yet. Read the rest of this entry
We have things growing again in the garden, so it’s time to get back into the rhythm of doing a regular Friday PhotoEssay!
I pulled up all those leeks and onions that we had planted in one of the raised beds over the winter. There was quite a bit of variation in size, as you can probably tell. They aren’t white (blanched) as high up as you would typically find, because we didn’t hill them up or mulch them. That’s rather difficult to do in the raised beds, and I really just wanted to see how they would do. I’m happy with how well they did!
Most of the radicchio that I planted earlier last fall and transplanted has recovered from the abuse of the winter. (It was under the plastic row cover.) It is showing some color, but not as much as I’d like to see. Maybe it will develop more color as it gets colder next week.
In contrast, this radicchio was planted about a month later and was under the fabric row cover all winter. It shows much better color development, but it’s going to have to grow fast to mature before it gets too hot/we need to plant something else in that spot.
Have a great weekend!