Jump Start the Growing Season
Don’t let cold soil and late spring frost delay the start to your garden season.
Prepare the soil as soon as it can be worked. Then cover it with clear plastic for several weeks. This warms the soil for planting and helps germinate many of the weed seeds.
Lightly cultivate, removing the young weed seedlings without bringing more weed seeds to the surface.
Now start planting. Once the garden is planted, cover it with a floating row cover such as Harvest Guard, ReeMay, or Fast Grass. These spun fabrics let air, light, and water through; while keeping the plants warm. Anchor the fabric with stones, boards, or other heavy items. Leave enough slack in the fabrics for the plants to grow.
Or cover individual plants with a commercial or homemade cloche or surround them with wall-o-waters. Vent cloches on sunny days as needed.
With a bit of extra effort you’ll be harvesting fresh vegetables long before your friends and neighbors.
A bit more information: Further boost your tomato harvest with red mulch. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service and Clemson University found using red plastic mulch increased the individual fruit size and weight and overall tomato harvest by as much as 20 percent. They found the red plastic mulch reflected certain growth-enhancing wavelengths of light back onto the plants. Many garden centers and catalogues now carry a variety of red plastic mulches, red wall-o-waters and red plastic tomato boosters to help gardeners increase their tomato harvest.