Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Extending the Autumn Growing Season in Chilly Climates

The same techniques that we Floridians use during winter frosts and freezes worked well for me in Denver each fall until the REAL cold settled in, and can be used to get further production from tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers when autumn nights get frosty. Just wrap the plants in old fashioned Christmas bulb strands as the heat source, then clothespin around it all bed sheets and bed spreads (NOT plastic sheeting as it transmits cold TO the leaves) to trap the heat. Use bricks and stones to secure all the fabric edges to the ground to keep cold air from oozing in and displacing the warm air. This technique works well plus can look pretty cool at night. I prefer to set this all up in the afternoon BEFORE the night chill sets in so as to trap ambient heat in the soil. Tucking a few gallon jugs filled with HOT water beneath the canopy just before you go to bed can add further degrees (literally) of protection. John

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