Season extenders

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Windy in Kansas, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I have been reading in a book entitle "Solar Gardening (Growing Vegetables Year-Round the American Intensive Way)" by Poisson. It reminds me of "Four Season Harvest" by Coleman.

    I'm wondering how many of you use season extenders?

    I'm thinking of laying down some black woven DeWitt "Sunbelt", allowing the soil to warm, then planting various vegetables or transplants under cones with a few brick in them to temper the heat and overnight cooling. I also like to plant tomatoes with a gallon can placed around them. The can no doubt draws heat to the plant too.

    I already have some "Sunbelt" on hand from end of roll remments from another project, so I wouldn't have to buy any.
    http://www.dewittcompany.com/wovengc.html#sunbelt
    http://www.hydrosource.com/web_clp/931101/avg.html

    While I spoke of planting under cones, I am also thinking along the lines of Wall-O-Water too. Another product that extends the season even a little more than WOWs is Saylor Caps. Well I can't currently find a link to show them.

    A wire frame is placed around a plant. A plastic bag with some water in it is stabbed onto the top of the frame, then lowered around the frame. The bottom of the bag covers the top of the frame because it is stabbed onto projections of the frame. The sides of the bag form sides kind of like a WOW. Similiar principal, but the top is covered too, thus allowing a little extra jump on spring.

    Hm, maybe it would be easier to move south for the winter and back north for spring.

    Anyway, who uses what extenders?
     
  2. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    We save clear plastic milk jugs to use as mini greenhouses. I put a few seeds in a hill and the jug over it (bottom cut out). When the plants fill the jug I remove the jug and put it away for next year. They stack neatly together and don't take much space in the basement.

    I use slotted plastic row cover to get certain seedlings in the ground before the last frost.

    IRT goes down to warm up the soil before planting tomatoes, eggplant and peppers in it. I put large rocks near the pepper plants for some extra warmth at night. There's no lack of large rocks in my garden. The frost pushes them up each year.

    We use cold frames for early starts on brassicas and leafy greens. I like to keep a large rock in the center to radiate heat during the night. It doesn't make a lot of difference but when it's very cold it does help. I also throw a blanket over the cold frames at night if necessary.

    I've seen corn started under something that looked like IRT. When the corn was six to 12 inches tall the farmer took off the cover. The plants were pale and leaning over. Within a few days photosynthesis had taken care of the chlorophyll and the plants were standing up. I'm going to try it myself this year.
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I would recommend that you plant some of the corn without the plastic to make a comparison.

    A decade ago I played the part of an April Fool and planted some sweet corn on that date. Some I planted under clear plastic while the remainder was exposed.
    That under the clear plastic indeed came up about a week earlier. At harvest time however the gap narrowed to just 3 days apart. Would I cover corn again for just a 3 day advantage? No. For a week of advantage I probably would.

    It is fun to experiment.

    I've never used a cold frame except the one on the farm when I was a kid growing up. I certainly should give one a try for sure.

    Glad to read about your solar gardening extending. Others?
     
  4. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to try some tomatoes and peppers in stacked tires, and was thinking of using couple more tires added to the top to substute for the expensive Wallowater. I'll put in a couple of rods of rebar to form the trellis and they will hold up the extra tires in place. Then cover with a sheet of plastic of some sort.