Here at Linwood we’re in peak fall foliage, the mountains look like they’re on fire. The days are growing shorter and the nights are getting colder. We had our first frost towards the end of September, and many cold nights since our first frost. Even though it’s beautiful outside, it’s sad to see the garden season come to an end. At Linwood, we have a few tricks to extend our growing season.
First, we LOVE to use row covers to help trap in that extra heat. Row covers have different thicknesses, which allows more or less light in depending on the thickness and color of fabric. Living at a higher elevation the weather can become unpredictable, and its not uncommon to have some cold nights during our summer months. I personally recommend growing everything in this area under a row cover, and when the temperatures finally start warming up you can always leave them open until you need them again- which believe me, you will! The supplies you will need to build a row cover tunnels are: hoops, bender for hoops, row cover of your liking, and clips to keep the row cover from blowing away. By adding a row cover tunnel to your garden, you can extend your season by 2 weeks in the beginning and end of the season.
In the middle of the season, I noticed that my tomato plants didn’t seem to be growing that well because it wasn’t quite getting warm enough for them. I put a row cover tunnel over them, and within a few weeks I could notice a big difference in the growth of my plants. Once the plants started to outgrow the tunnel, you can just remove the tunnel or move it over another set of plants. If you’re using a row cover during the summer months, its important to open it up during the day so you can get air flow and allow the bees to still enjoy your plants. This also helps with keeping the bugs from taking over your plants. Just like your plants, bugs love the extra heat as well. Keep an eye out for unwanted bugs before they get out of control under their new home
With the season ending, we’re already starting to plan for next season. Garlic is planted in the ground, and we’ve been working hard with cleaning up garden plots and getting our cover crop planted. This year we’re planting winter rye, that we will till back into the garden in the spring time. Cover crops help with putting nutritions back into your soil. Cover crops are also great for: weed control, increasing yields, and reducing soil erosion. What cover crop are you planting this season?