What do you use, other then a greenhouse, to extend your growing season. Is there a favorite technique you have?
We use Clotzes (Mini Hoops) See pictures at link. You will see one in January and the next pictures are the spring. We usually keep Lettuce etc at least till Christmas. This winter has been warm so we have kept everything going all winter so far.
The Garlic Lady
Here is a link that might be useful:
This year I had lettuce in my cold frame until christmas. Worked out nicely. The hoop system you use. How much warmer does it make the inside of the tunnel?
I really haven't checked temps . I know in the spring I have to be careful not to cook things on a sunny day. Here in NC zone 7 we can get through most of the winter with fall vegetables growing. It protects fall/spring items well when it gets in the low to mid 20's.
Simple row covers (Remay,Agribon,etc.)without hoops will protect many crops from frost. I've used them in the spring for vine crops and in the fall I cover beans, peppers, eggplant or whatever crop still holds a promise for harvest. Often if the crop is growing well when early frost hits, you can extend picking many crops for a month or more.
I even use row cover over my everbearing red raspberry crop, suppurted by a canopy frame in the fall. Since the raspberries are a high value crop the outlay in materials is minor in comparison to the benefits.
Even though I've built greenhouses and high tunnels for tomatoes the early field grown tomatoes could be saved from frost by sticking a clear, slitted garbage bag over the tomato cages and hoeing ground over the base. Without a few slits cut in the top to let out excess heat you can cook plants under plastic.
Garliclady: I was looking at your "hoop" pictures. This is the system that I have already decided on. How long are the wire supports you used. I found some sold in bundles of 100. They are 76" long. Would this be enough room to set out tomatoes, egg plants and peppers? I will only go about 2 feet wide and use planter paper mulch.
I am not sure what you mean by "How long are the wire supports you used. I found some sold in bundles of 100. They are 76" long."
Our hoops are made of pvc pipe. We have 4' beds and the pvc pipe was not cut. We used the length that they came from Lowes Home improvement (I think it was 10'). It was the thinner PVC and the smallest diameter they carry. We attached the pvc wth a "pipe strap" . These are found in the plumbing section they usually come in small packages of 10 or so.
I took a picture today to show you close up how they are are attached. Hope this helps.
garliclady, thanks for reponding. In Jorden Seed Co. they sell wire hoop supports in bundles of l00. They are 76" long. I was hoping to make my beds 2 feet wide, but wasn't sure if this would give me enoungh heigth once I bend the hoops. I guess I didn't make my self very clear. Sometimes I get an idea in my head but can't write my thoughts the way I would like.
It's a lot cheaper to go to Farm and Fleet/TSC and buy #9 fence wire and cut your own hoops. because the wire comes in a roll the wire when cut naturally makes hoops, no bending needed.
ohiorganic, Is #9 the size of the wire or do I need to know the gauge also? I'm sure it would be cheeper to purchase from a local farm store. Heidi
#9 wire = 9 gauge wire