How to Maintain Your Coronavirus Garden Over the Winter
As lockdown orders took effect in spring, Americans nationwide planted coronavirus gardens to relieve food supply anxiety, provide a purposeful distraction and enjoy a family-friendly activity.
Although harvest season is ending, growers hooked on home-grown provisions can coax more from their gardens.
Adapt8, maker of greenhouse and agricultural products available at The Greenhouse Catalog, offers tips for ensuring a cornucopia of produce in months and years to come.
Leave the leaves. To improve the soil in raised beds, simply put the leaves you rake on top of your garden and cover with thick plastic. The leaves break down and add nutrients to the soil. You can also plant a cover crop, such as winter rye or crimson clover, and work it into the beds in the spring.
Squash ol’ Jack Frost. Use a frost blanket to protect tender plants in your garden from frosty nights, prolonging their production. Put the frost blanket on in the evening and remove it in the morning.
Think big by starting small. A hobby greenhouse, one as small as 8′ x 8′, is a good start to grow a coronavirus garden for your family. A greenhouse jump-starts and extends the growing season, and you can spice things up by growing vertically, expanding your garden’s square footage.
If your greenhouse is unheated, it’s important to insulate plant roots. Wrap Christmas lights or bubble wrap around a pot, or put plants on a seedling heat mat. As darker days approach, an LED light made especially for plants will supplement natural light and keep plants growing on the shortest days.
Preserve your favorite producer. Have a favorite tomato plant? Tomatoes are tender perennials and can grow back. To enjoy the same flavors next year, cut the plant back almost to the soil level and put it in your garage or greenhouse for the winter.
As long as it doesn’t freeze or dry out, it will grow back.
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