Get a jump start on spring with these season extensions tips and tricks.
Although the weather has been beautiful and sunny we are not safe from frosty nights yet. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep old Jack Frost off of your seedlings and get you growing sooner.
One option for getting your seedlings started is in cold frames, we built ours out of reclaimed lumber and single paned windows. This is a great option for protecting your seedlings from birds and bunnies. We highly recommend you keep a thermometer in the cold frame and open the frame if you are going to be away during the day as these mini greenhouses can reach temperatures of well over +40 deg Celsius in less than an hour if they are exposed to full sun.
Rime or frost cloth is another great option for protecting your young plants from frost. We have had our tomato seedlings out for the last 5 nights with only 2 layers or rime to protect them. Rime is also great for protecting young seeding trays from sun-scald and pests. However, rime will only provide 2 degrees Celsius of frost protection so if the temperatures are expected to drop below -2 degrees be sure to bring your seedling inside for the night.
Builder’s poly is the plastic sheeting you see contractor use for all kinds of projects including moisture barrier between walls, it can be used to turn your planting beds into mini greenhouses called low tunnels. These low tunnels can be created by bending plastic water pipe such as plumbing pex into low half-hoops over your rows and covering them with the builder’s poly. Be sure to open the tunnel to allow air flow during the day as these low tunnels can get warm fast, which could easily result in wilted or burned seedlings.
I hope these tips give you the confidence to get a jump on your growing season! Have fun!
Jana and Gord Hiebert