Floating Row Cover and Grow Tunnels Extend the Growing Season

comments (0) September 28th, 2014

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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A box arrived from Agfabric with a 7-foot-wide roll of floating row cover and fiberglass rods--spurring a fall garden. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
A garden row needed to be cleared of summer plants and weeds.
Aged manure and other amendments are sprinkled over the old layer of straw mulch.
Ready for tilling.
Freshly tilled garden earth was left to sit for a few days before planting.
Since the rods will only bend so much, the recommended distance was 33-to 50-inches for inserting the rods, for 7-foot rods and 7-foot- wide grow cover.
Bent hoops were placed at both ends of row and line strung down the rows so I could see where to place the plants. Then I dug holes and placed the plants where I wanted them.
Fortunately, there was a good rain that watered in the transplants. Here, the rods are being placed on the right of the photo.
Here the fiberglass rods are bent over so that they are now hoops for the just-planted and well-watered garden bed.
The roll of row cover was unrolled, measured and cut to fit the 50-foot row. Then it was unrolled and laid out so it was easy to pull over the hoops.
Here is the row cover stretched over the hoops to create a 50-foot long grow tunnel.
View from the inside of the grow tunnel--happy transplants will be protected from cold weather, deer, rabbits and insects.
A box arrived from Agfabric with a 7-foot-wide roll of floating row cover and fiberglass rods--spurring a fall garden. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

A box arrived from Agfabric with a 7-foot-wide roll of floating row cover and fiberglass rods--spurring a fall garden. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Although summer has gone and fall is here, it does not mean the end of the growing season. By using floating row cover or a grow tunnel covered with it--you can enjoy cool weather crop until the weather freezes--and some of the hardy ones might even last through the winter.

Recently, I received a big box from AgFabric , containing a 7-foot-wide roll of floating row cover and fiberglass rods for making a grow tunnel. This will allow me to garden through the fall and into the winter in my zone 7 garden; some lettuces might go with a freeze, however kale and brassicas should last throughout the cold weather. Row cover comes in rolls of various weights as well as widths and lengths. http://www.agfabric.com/ Besides allowing a longer growing season, using row cover will keep the browsing deer, rabbits and insects from eating the garden.

The arrival of the tunnel, caused a flurry of garden activity at the end of the growing season... clearing off a row where dead or dying plants had been, pulling out weeds, adding amendments, tilling a new row, laying out and planting a row to fit in the dimensions of the tunnel, assembling the tunnel by bending the rods and then covering the rods with the floating row cover.

Logically, I planted the tallest plants down the center of the row and lower-growing greens down the sides. It is very important to water in the new plants before covering the plants with the row covering. Fortunately, Mother Nature cooperated and rained a gentle rain all night long after transplanting all of the plants. we waited a day to cover the tunnel to let the garden dry out just a bit.

Now all there is to do is wait for our harvest of cold-weather crops!


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posted in: floating row cover, cool-weather crops, grow tunnels