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Extend Your Gardening Season

Get more produce and enjoyment from your garden by extending your growing season.  Use cold frames, cloches, and floating row covers to protect young seedlings and transplants or your harvest from chilly temperatures and frosts.

Purchase or make your own cold frame from plywood and old window sashes or plastic. Most cold frames are 3 x 6 feet or sized to fit old window sashes or other material used for the cover.  Make the backside higher than the front wall, and face southward to maximize the sun’s warming benefits.  Nestle cold frames against a building for added heat and protection from the cold.  

Row covers of polypropylene spun fabrics can also be used to extend the season. The row cover fabrics trap heat around the plants while allowing air, water, and light through to the plants. Loosely drape fabric over the plants and anchor the edges of the fabric with stones, board, or wickets. And leave enough slack in the fabric to allow for plant growth.

A bit more information: Cloches have long been used to cover tender plants at the start of the season.  Glass jars were placed over the plants and slightly tipped on sunny days to prevent overheating.  Plastic milk jugs or similar covers can be used today.

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