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Early season start using plastic hoops and mulch.

Posted by drscott 7a (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 6, 11 at 23:51

Has anyone tried planting early using plastic mulches and low tunnels? I am thinking of setting up low tunnels with drip irrigation, plastic mulch, and vented plastic tunnels. I live in Maryland just north of Baltimore City (Owings Mills.)

I'd like to try to get Brassicas in the ground March 15 (vs Apr 1), Corn and summer vegetables on April 15 (vs my usual May 15.)

Anyone tried this around in a similar climate area?

Scott


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Early season start using plastic hoops and mulch.

I grow all winter in 5b. Go for it.

Closest to the gate is a conduit hoop similar to what you describe, with plastic and fabric for warmth. Make sure you vent on sunny days else they'll cook.

Dan


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RE: Early season start using plastic hoops and mulch.

Thanks Dan

Was planning to use hoop plastic with built in vents - supposed to vent on warm days and close up on cold days.


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RE: Early season start using plastic hoops and mulch.

I can't use that product here, as the wind shreds it to bits. And it won't give you more than a degree or two of insulation so you'll want an Agribon product or similar over the top for insulation - ensure you purchase the product in an appropriate width so you have extra on all sides to secure.

Dan


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RE: Early season start using plastic hoops and mulch.

Scott

You might be surprised how early you can plant without any cover if you plant the right vegetables. See web site below for your local county agricultural agency for earliest planting dates.

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/index.html

I used to garden in South Dakota and I once planted on the early date recommended by the local agency. I was so determined to plant on time that I went out and chiped a half inch of ice off the soil so I could plant. I was a little surprised when they came up. I was very worried when one week later we had another ice storm and the seedlings were incased in ice. But as soon as the ice melted, they exploded with growth. Peas and beets can also be planted very early if you plant the right variety.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crop Rotation


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