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Season Extenders0

In the colder parts of the country we seek out ways to extend the growing season in order to get the most out of our gardens. Starting seeds indoors to get a jump start on spring, covering plants with blankets in the fall to protect them from frost. Fortunately there are a couple of outdoor products that make this job easier.

Row covers are an excellent means for protecting young plants early in the growing season. They keep plants up to 25 degrees warmer than the outdoor temperature and can also be used in the fall to get a few extra weeks of harvest out of your garden.

Cold frames are considered to be one of the more indispensible gardening tools. Cold frames store the sun’s heat while allowing you to have some control over temperatures with ventilation. In the spring, they’re great for hardening off seedlings. The cool weather toughens them up while the cold frame protects them from the worst of the cold temperatures by the heat stored in the frame itself. I grew up on ones made from old glass windows mounted on scrap wood. But the ones available today are really impressive and quite affordable.

Juwel Cold Frame 1000

The growing season is never long enough. If I can get a few more of those delicious tomatoes to last until the end of September or plant out hardened-off seedlings earlier in May, then I’ve extended my growing season by a few weeks and that works for me.

text by Ann D. Travers

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