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Logo of AdAgrA 2021: Hidden Treasure

06 The Backyard Garden Blueprint

Edwin Dysinger Paul Dysinger

Conference

Recorded

  • January 14, 2021
    4:00 PM
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We are talking about the backyard garden blueprint session 6 on winter gardening and I just want to remind you from session one. You know when it comes to when it comes to gardening there's different different. Areas to pay attention to actually I sued. It's going to take too long for me to pull up a side issue to put a slide in here we we have what we call our gardening game plan which is kind of part of this blueprint Maybe I'll put that in the handouts as well right so gardening can kind of be distilled down into 4 different areas you have that ignition. Which is where you are think of it think of it kind of like a rocket taking off right the ignition is where you get it started and that encompasses the areas of like we start talked about at the very beginning of getting your soil right maybe doing a soil test but making sure that you focus on that soil getting getting all of that foundation set up for your garden and then you have a launch where you're just getting started and that's like starting your transplants right. I met him preparing your garden beds maybe amending them all of that whole section of gardening and then you have. Grow and that's like where your your rocket is taking off into the sky right your plants are growing and you're watering them in your trellis seeing them and you're caring for them and you're dealing with pests and diseases and weeds and there's that whole phase of the garden and then the 4th phase of your garden is extend and this is kind of an optional phase and that is if you want to extend your gardening season into the fall or winter or extend it earlier into the spring right or extend it all winter long we're going to share with you and and so this 4th stage is what we're talking about in this last one where we're going to talk about winter gardening you can use these principles either to just extend your garden just make it a little bit longer or you can use them in many places for a large portions of the u.s. you can use it to grow all winter long without supplemental heat. And with it without breaking your pocketbook very simple things that we're going to we're going to share with you here that can be very effective. So I told you that in this last session we're going to do some fun giveaways Ok so from time to time we'll ask you questions during the session and this is this is kind of off the cuff so if you think of a question well throw some questions out at you and you know whoever gets the right answer we're going to give you give you a give away that you will pick up at the booth My wife is running to get some of our materials we have some recorded gardening classes and stuff like that that you'll be able to pick one out all right so it's just just to make it a little bit fun for our last session here all right number 6 Winter gardening so here's an overview we have what we call our or c t p winter gardening formula. So c. is stands for our simple formula to know what grows best in the winter versus the summer actually tell you what c. stands for in just a 2nd but that's a description of what it is t. is the number one critical factor for a successful Winter Garden and p.e. is the key to keeping your plants alive in the cold and why wind is one of your for worst enemies so actually maybe we should make you guess what each of these are and maybe that will be the prize and we have a little bonus here how to build your own winter quick hoops and why they are so effective so will will help you with that as well so see how our simple formula to know what grows best in the winter versus the the summer. So see I'm not going to make you guess the formula all right but how many of you can guess what c. stands for this this is maybe a little bit of a hard one with calcium someone to care compost that's a good one and some would say it's not compost because Christopher has no climate that's that's getting much closer much closer on climate cold. Hot conditions that's yeah cold climate. Cover those those those are all good. I think we're going to give compost the prize. Was that you. Right here he said it 1st all right so so come to the booth and well we'll give you a prize see actually stands for cold tolerant cold tolerant. But because compost is such a big theme of our of our thing I think we should give compas the prize they're all right see stands for cold tolerant and imagine climbing up a mountain Who was it that said climate climate will give you a price too because that's that's very very similar. Because imagine climbing up amount each plant has an environment or a climate where it thrives the best right and. So at the bottom of the mountain you have these tall pines and then you go up to the top of the mountain and eventually you're going to break out of the what's it called. The tree line exactly and then you come up and up at the top of the mountain in it's not completely bare there's this little flower that's growing up by a spot of snow up to the top of the mountain right but that flower thrives up there while the big tall pine trees thrive down at the bottom and it's the same in our garden there are plants there thrive in the cold and there's plants that thrive in the heat so it's important when thinking about growing veggies in the cold of winter to choose veggies that do well in the cold instead of fighting nature let's work with it and this is how you can extend your season very easily. Elliot Coleman says the secret to success in lengthening the season without problems or failures is to find the point at which the extent of climate modification is in balance with the extra amount of time money and management skill involved in attaining it to say that in simple terms is what's the easiest and least expensive way that you can grow food in the winter. And that's our goal in short we want to know how to grow veggies over the winter in a way that's easy and cost effective as possible. So the 1st aspect of that is to grow veggies that naturally like the cold and you know not everyone knows what those veggies are so there's just a funny little story from balance the blessings farm and you know all of us start somewhere so and so there's no shame in not knowing what grows in the cold versus those versus the warm you know we're here to learn together right so there was a there was a. Customer at the farm who signed up for our winter c.s.a. a c.s.a. stands for community supported agriculture it's a subscription box to the farm you get a box of produce every couple weeks and they were really disappointed that they didn't get green beans in their winter box you know those of you that chuckle chuckle because you realize that because you know that green beans don't grow in the winter but not everybody knows that right and so this is this Dear customer of ours didn't know the green beans that it grow in the winter and she was disappointed and you know in our supermarkets are not helpful because you can buy green beans in the winter in the supermarket. Where do they come from you know maybe they come from California or from Peru or Mexico you know but. They didn't grow locally that's for sure so. So maybe that's you I'm not going to make you raise your hand or not but even if you do know most of the winter growing crops there may be some that you didn't recognize before so we're going to go through some cold tolerant crops and this is our little formula said there was a little simple formula for knowing what grows in the winter versus summer this is the formula winter leaves in Roots versus summer seeds and fruits so kind of rhymes. Winter leaves and roots versus summer seeds and fruits and this holds true mostly across the bar there are a few exceptions exceptions just like the English language now there's less exceptions than the English language but most of your winter and winter crops are your leaves and your roots here let us spend edge broccoli kale call it flower carrots turnips radishes the I guess technically broccoli and cauliflower you're kind of eating the fruit because you're eating the flour but most of them are your your leaves your leafy crops and your roots like carrots turnips beets. So potatoes potatoes. Or a little bit of an exception to it now Iris potatoes are a cooler weather crop but they do not handle a frost so. It's true you grow your you will want to grow your potatoes in the spring or in the later part of the summer that summer potatoes are one of the biggest exceptions to it. And that would include Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes these women it has especially for an exemption you know. Cannot tolerate in the cold yeah and then your summer seeds and fruits most of the crops that you grow in the summer are ones that you eat the seeds in the fruits off of them cucumbers tomatoes eggplants what are all those there fruits right squash we're talking about fruits in the botanical sense which means it's what forms from the flower Yeah yeah and then seeds are like corn and and and such like that now there are some seeds there are member we said there are few exceptions like for example wheat Oftentimes you'll grow that over the winter and then you'll harvest at the next spring so so there's little exceptions here and there but this is a general rule there are several lagoons also for example that will grow in the winter and but then you usually would harvest they would grow over the winter that you would harvest them in the spring. So let's look at a list of cold tolerant veggies that you can extend your season with we've divided them into 3 sections here there's a low freeze called tolerance medium freeze tolerance and high freeze tolerance. Low freeze tolerance so just just to be clear all of these can take some freezing. Ok but but we're talking about more relative they can take more more and more harder it's harder frost or lower Frost So lettuce chicory that includes like Riddick you know on dive scroll those are more specialty broccoli cauliflower salon trow parsley radishes celery and buck by the way broccoli and cauliflower the plant themselves is very hardy but because you're eating the flower of it the flowers more tender and so Frost can really knock it out so that's the reason why they're in here we have had broccoli in our new palace that we have been eating off of all winter long we're so happy and. We had a frost down to 14 degrees right yeah yeah and we still have that were outside you know no you don't side but we cover them with a single you know they're in the hoop palace and then a single layer floating row cover on top of the inside so the yeah so well you covers there they're doing beautifully yes so well we'll tell you a little bit more about how you can do that medium freeze tolerance this is a big list here Chinese cabbage sorrel who knows what sorrel is as and when it was over those sorrel is really a plant it has a very it's has a sour taste to it you eat the leaf it's used a lot in Eastern European cooking particularly in soups Yeah. Skull Robbie Collard scale model is what you know what ma ma says Ok so that might be a new one for most everyone in my life knows what it is Ma she is a. A French it's kind of a exotic French green. It's actually an American weed called called cornflower. Got exported to France and upgraded and Gore made. They call it. It's a it's a it's a highly valued green in France it has a very buttery flavor and it looks a little bit doesn't really look the same but it's got a little bit more like a spinach type sort of spinach or soldiers. All right and then spinach beets carrots parsnips dandelion greens baby greens of any kind Asian greens lettuce all of those baby greens can handle more of a freeze than the adult like if you grew baby lettuce it can handle more of a freeze than an adult lettuce. And then you have your high freeze tolerance which is turn it that is your regular purple top turnip is very cold tolerant there are salad turnips for example Hakkar I turn up is a very tasty mazing salad turnip we have some of those growing right now very sweet and they are a lower lower freeze tolerance so that's why I just mentioned them there and then Brussels sprouts cabbage you keenness of Boy that's an Asian green those are all pretty high freeze tolerant crops so for example those those ones on that last list will grow them outside in the field. And just cover them with a single cover a floating recover. And they do fine in the field. Down down to the you know into the. Low teens even single digits you know we were in middle Tennessee so we don't get a lot of that kind of weather so if it's you know it's a night or 2 of that kind of weather they're they're still fine. If you had it extended for an extended period of time I'm not sure yeah the coldest we get down is usually around 0 would be about the cold coldest we get we have gotten into the negative negative 5 but that will be. Maybe once or twice not every year. So these are all great varieties varieties to grow in the early spring fall or even straight through the winter remember that your winter bed reasons are pretty much your leaf while your summer ones are mainly your fruits and seeds All right so the 1st one was c. which is stands for cold taller and cold tolerant tea the number one critical factor for having a successful Winter Garden do you Can anyone guess what t. stands. You've got a yeah there's smart I think that you said it 1st timing so you get a prize to come by the booth will. Hook you up with something so touchy is for timing and most a lot of people think about he and protection when it comes to extending your season right but timing actually is one of the most critical if not the most critical factor we want to protect our vegies from the cold in the wind and we will talk about that with you that's all true but before we get there we need the actual vegetables to protect in the 1st place right and it's perhaps one of the easiest things to get wrong when it comes to winter gardening the the 1st. Critical factor to season extension is the timing of when you plant your veggies timing can make all the difference from having a harvest to no harvest at all so let me tell you let's talk about why. What happens is as the weather gets cooler and as the day length decreases plants growth slows down it just gets slower and slower and slower and it will eventually come almost to a complete stop if not a complete stop as a general rule plants growth slows down the most when days become 10 hours or shorter it's a it's a time period during the winter that has been coined the purse if any time period when days are 10 hours or so and your plant growth is going to be pretty much the slowest during that time during this period your plants won't actually be growing very much hence this is kind of a key end for some of you it may be kind of an aha moment when it comes to winter gardening and your purpose in season extension isn't so much to grow plants in the winter as it is to keep them alive over the winter so you need to get them grown before winter hits so that you can keep them alive and be harvesting off of them during the winter does that make sense particularly the goal is to get them to maturity before you reach that Persephone and period for where you are so you know there are places online where you can find out were were you are you know when your 10 hour days begin. But once you once you reach the place for us it's late November that we reach 10 hours and enter the less than 10 hours time and. Where. We're still in it right now we come out of. January so. If you can get your plants to maturity before you reach that time period then you just hold them through that. Time So the critical factor is to know when to plant your plants during the summer or fall so that they will mature by the time that winter sets in or if you want early crops in the spring you're kind of working in the reverse you know planting starts beating up slowly but you kind of were growing speeds slow growing speeds up slowly so it works in this bell curve over the winter we'll show you a visual good example of that here so this is a visual example taken from dad by a man named Elliot Coleman he's a farmer up in Maine he has pioneered a lot of winter gardening so this is credits to him from his book The new organic grower I've adopted it and this specific graft here is for growing lettuce at his location. On the left hand side is the number of days to harvest from when they come for his lettuce on the bottom is your month's going across the year right so if he planted it in August it would take about 47 days for the lettuce tomato or does that make sense and he's he's using you know a 40 day to maturity lettuce so already in August things are starting to slow down a little bit for him. So you'll notice that the day length is shortening as you go across that winter you know it towards the center of winter right and as this curve goes up it's not an exact. Marking of the of the day length but you you get the idea there so here's what happens if you come to mid August. If he planted it there that lettuce would not be harvested Intel September 27 at the beginning of September that let us would be harvested be ready to harvest November 10 beginning of October the lettuce would be ready to harvest February 2 so that's one month apart in planting but how many months apart in harvesting it's a lot more right so then and I won't list every single one of these but you can see as you come down the other side if you plant the beginning of January harvest April 12th but you plant the beginning of February you harvest April 20 somethings are starting to speed up again on the other side right you're planting a month apart but they're harvesting closer together so it's an interesting interesting little curve here here's just a little visual to make it simple plants at the beginning of September take 70 days plant at the beginning of October it takes $120.00 days for that to be ready to harvest so this makes this is the trick of winter growing your you know in growing in spring and summer your your days to maturity is pretty fixed you've got a stationary target but growing for fall and winter and early spring you've got a moving target that you're trying to hit and so that makes it a lot more complicated so this is you know we were talking earlier someone asked I'm just going to pull up or our seed time again that we were talking about and. Someone had asked earlier you know is this is this app built for doing you know who Palace screwing or growing undercover or growing through the winter and I mentioned that yes we are actually building out to the app with our proprietary winter gardening algorithm it's an algorithm that we have come up with it's going to be in its beta so it's kind of it's a testing phase but we have come up with an algorithm that will estimate the harvest delays of your crop over the winter based on your location that's your latitude your growing zone and how many covers you're using on that crop so that you would be able to plan your winter gardening plantings so that you can have a continual harvest through the winter we do not have the whole algorithm set up in the op yet but I'll show you just a visual demonstration of a little bit of basically how it works so for example you see I have these this is an example of radish is if I move it into October you'll see that it bumps the harvest a little bit later. Move a week later it bumps the harvest a little bit later that's called Harvest delay right the harvest delays a little bit further so when we get the algorithm built into the calendar itself it's going to do that based on your location and how many you'll be able to put. That I'm growing this product this crop under power us under one layer or 2 layers and it will adjust your winter growing estimated harvest times over the winter which is pretty exciting in fact I don't know if that we have not found any other tool out there right now that does that and I think this is a 1st so we would love to have you guys come on to our beta members and start testing it out for us and make sure that we're that if it works well across. Different zones were were wanting as we launch out we're wanting to pull in a really good beta user group beta means that it's just in the more of the testing phase some people wonder what are you talking beda beda means it's kind of in the testing phase and we're wanting people's feedback and stuff as they use it. So once again if you would like to reserve your spot to get access to the app when we launch it out come by the booth and we'll have an opportunity for your you to reserve your spot when we launch it out and would love for you to be a part of that that group so that's just another little example and what that will do is for example if I bring these you can see this here with the carrots if I seed these carrots one week apart they're actually harvesting several weeks apart as you see that and so you'll be able to plant succession plantings very easily in visually with the calendar just you just line them all up and then it will spit out checklist every week telling you when to and when you should be seeding each one of those plantings in you don't have to worry about it otherwise it's it takes too much to keep trying to figure it out all right time and so that's the visual demonstration timing is perhaps like we said the number one thing that caught that may cause most Winter Gardens to fail and that is because but believe it or not a lot of these crops have to be started in the middle of summer in many places for example if we want Brussels sprouts like Technically we should be starting those like at the end of June. But how many people are thinking about their fall or winter garden at the end of June right it just doesn't happen that often and so. So when it comes to your winter go and that's one of the more exciting extreme ones you know Kayla's sometime in August or the end of July or something like that but even then a lot of people aren't thinking about their fall garden yet and so what often happens is the age you're not thinking about Intel fall is there but then you don't have time to get them to grow to maturity before your winter sets in but once you get past September there's not very much the you can plant. You know there is there is still there is still a few things but you know October you've got a few things you can plant November. You know if you if you live in Florida it's a difference to anybody here who live in Florida it's a different story in Florida you know there is it does depend on your growing you grow its own so what if you do get your crops planted late can you save them the truth is that day length may be a. Daily is a factor with your days getting shorter and it may be the greater factor between the cold and day length but both of them do factor cold and day length temperature and temperature and day length so when it comes down. To your plants growth slowing down heat does play a role as well think of protection and warmth as a little buffer to encourage your plants to grow a little faster before the days get too short. So if you're you can probably you know you can put row cover or put them in a hoop house or something like that and that may give you about an extra 2 weeks of extra growth time just to get those plants. It's a little bit of a buffer zone you get it does help and your plants will grow a little bit more just just an example what we have going on right now. We get our strawberries starts from my brother John and he gets a large number and then sells them to other smaller farmers as well as using them for on his farm and his supplier had issues and was very late we we received the he what he receives as is the growing tips you know the strawberries send out a tip the that will route so he gets those tips and he he puts them in pots and so he received those tips about one week before we're supposed to be putting the plants in the ground for outside so. You know everything is not a good thing yeah everything was way behind schedule so we actually got our strawberries planted about a month late now ours were in the hoop house and so there because they have the protection of the hoop house now in the Who palace we are not covering our strawberries with a floating row cover so they have the single cover of of plastic of the hoop house our other vegetables which when it gets cold will pull the floating row cover over them at night and then we'll take it off in the day but the strawberries we're not doing that just the single layer of plastic but that is enough that they're they're not up to where there's they should be at this time but they're close to it where they should be because they have that extra protection so having having that extra protection can give you a little bit of an edge if you happen to be behind on something you can you can cover it and and that'll give you a little little edge in in catching up we do that out in the field too sometimes if we're behind in planting something our carrots got in just a little bit late and we covered them with a floating row cover and left them they still have the floating row cover on them now from when we planted them in September. They've caught up to where they should be. So it is a little bit of a buffer All right. P. is the key to keeping the plants alive in the cold and why wind is one of your worst enemies maybe is an easy one. I have no clue who said that for. So well I have to think it will do one more give away will figure out something in here because for protection all in all when you boil it down any kind of protection is simply changing our modifying the existing climate in some way this happens in a totally natural way in nature all the time. For instance so there are so when you protect your creating a micro climate in nature there are natural microclimates and what I'm going to share with us some natural microclimates doesn't mean that each one of these is a protected climate it just means there are these natural microclimates like a south facing slope warms up faster because it gets more direct sunlight right in the in the winter in the northern hemisphere valleys tend to collect cold air creating a frost pockets while hill tops tend to stay warmer we experienced this firsthand at the farm in Tennessee my dad and mom live up on a hill and literally just walking up the hill you can feel the air get warmer it's pretty pretty cool we can we can be as much as 10 degrees different from the top of the hill to the fields down in the bottom of the valley on cold still nights now are good grow a bowl land is in the frost bucket so we've got to deal with the frost pocket right but if you have good grow ball land that is off with a frost bite you might want to consider growing their right so you got to work with what you have it's your context right. All of these in little environmental changes create little microclimates were different plants can thrive all goal and protection is to do this as simply and as economically as possible but it has to be balanced with. With reality when it comes to actually keeping your plants alive so the question is how much protection do I need and we'll get to that in just a 2nd but 1st let's note that protection has more to do with protection from the elements than it does the cold itself Ok protection from the elements than it does the cold itself were growing plants that can handle a frost we're growing plants that are already colds tolerant warped is a key factor in some plants do need more of it and so protection does play a double role it does keep your plants a little warmer but at times winds may actually cause greater damage to your plants through desiccation of your plant leaves or causing wind burn on your plants we've had this happen you know you know what wind chill lose Yeah when the wind's blowing it's a lot colder then it really yes that's the same for plants the more still the areas around the plant the lower temperatures that plant will be able to handle. Yeah like I just said it's very similar to wind chill and plants are a lot like us if they are wet and cold and windy your plants are going to absolutely despise it and you'll you'll know you'll find out you'll see it so Ok here's the question they're going to ask you we had lettuce plants that were under a quick they were under one was just one layer of covering when you're not really going on that was 2 it was under 2 it was under 2 layers of covering in a quick and we had lettuce plants that survives down to guess what temperature. Ok that's a good question that's a good one any other any other guesses. 515217270. Ok What was it and I think it was. I think it was about 3 something like that so who said Who's does someone say to you Ok come by the booth will have a bonus for you so yeah they they it's pretty amazing Now let us is one of the lower for trees tolerant right so with the right protection and granted you know this is when we were commercially farming and those plants were prayed over so they're you know God's blessing can factor in right and I think we need to be clear that not all of them survived there were there were there were 2 beds that were covered with. We call it a quick coop and the ones on the outside edges didn't do so well but the ones in the center did fine all right so when it comes to creating a micro climate there are a couple things to consider one is you want to look at the micro climate that you are to have or try and place your plants in the best possible situation to thrive during the winter and then you do want to protect them from the wind and elements. So let's look at protection practical ways that you can protect production can take on many forms and it can range from anything as simple as growing next to a wind break. Coleman the same form of that grew in Maine he tested the temperature of the air by a wind break and out and out of it and it was actually several degrees warmer behind the wind break just simply because of the wind break. All the way up to building a full fledged greenhouse so we'll go ahead and cover several different ways to protect your vegies here a wind break or a heads like I just mentioned to you it can raise the air temperature a little bit so every little bit counts and stopping that wind is going to help those plants do better as well remember protection from the wind as one of the bit but bigger things cold frames cold frames are pretty traditional and they can be a great option for a home garden to extend your season the basic idea is you create this box. Over your bed and then you use sheets of glass or plastic as a roof and then you can tilt them up you put them on hinges or you can tell them up for ventilation as you want your plants to also have ventilation especially on warmer days when the sun comes out it can get really hot in these By the way. So you don't tell them up the glass or plastic I just said can be tilted up for ventilation this can be effective if you're only wanted to grow a small amount but due to the labor and cost involved in building these a cold frame might not be the best 1st choice and you can only grow smaller vegetables unless you have a really big cold frame. So. This is something you grow spin it you can grow carrots you can grow some of those smaller smaller crops and there radishes you probably grow in there. Row covers row covers are perhaps the overall best way to protect veggies from the cold because they are very effective for the amount of cost and labor involved so this is kind of our go to when it comes to protection in the winter it's simple it's a lightweight fabric cover that you can spread out like a blanket over your veggies it's a sponge bonded fabric quite similar to like a dryer sheet. Only a lot larger right and you can spread it over your your veggies that's a blanket some benefits are that they're light weight they allow light to pass through them their breather Bowl they protect from the wind and they increase the temperature under the row cover and they are cost effective so by the way should just point out that them being breathable is really fantastic because that means you don't need to vent them. Right I was going to point out the same thing that's so huge that you know like the cold frame. When it's sunny you have to be out there you have to keep it in mind of the sunshine and you've got to vent it or it's going to get way too hot and you're going to have a lot of condensation in humidity and disease inside so but the floating row cover will will often cover our crops in the field with a single layer floating row cover and leave that on all winter long never take it off except for when we're going in there to harvest. You can just put it on and forget it it's really nice yeah so like I said it's kind of our go to is one of our favorite things so to use a row cover for protection there's multiple ways that you can do it you can just throw it over your crops and there are certain ones that we do that with it's usually the more cold tolerant ones that we just throw the row cover over top of it like a blanket right now in our field we have carrots and rutabagas and Brussels sprouts all under a floating recover and it's just laid straight on top of them yeah. But for other crops Ideally it is better to keep it up off of the plant somehow have a little air gap between the row cover and the plants so a great way to do that is you can use like these little wire hoops that's something that you can use those are more effective with lower crops that it like lettuce or something that doesn't grow really high Another way is to build a quick hoop which are like miniature little hoop houses. And will describe how you can build that if you choose to purchase a row cover here's what we suggest there are different thicknesses of broke cover and we suggest a one ounce think ness is probably the best compromise in protection in the winter this offers a good balance of light about allows about 70 percent of light to come through so your plants can keep growing as it's under the row cover while offering a good amount of protection from the wind at the same time. And a nice a nice warm flare as well so the heavier the row cover the more. Frost protection it's going to give the warm and is going to be but also the less light will be coming through so when Paul says a balance we're balancing the the light and the protection and we found this one ounces we feel like that's kind of the ideal. Compromise there yeah in zone 7 where we are in Tennessee one broke cover can effectively protect most of the medium cold freeze tolerant crops that we had in that list there. Covers can be doubled to add even more protection but the 2nd layer should be taken off to allow light and heat during the day so you'd only want to put a 2nd layer on at night when it's getting the coldest you want to make sure that you get that sunlight back in there during the day so it can warm up so again I was mentioning inside our hoop else. We consider the plastic of the hoop Palace's one cover and and then we have a 2nd cover that we pull over some of our vegetables if it's going to get cold really cold we we always want to pull that cover off as soon as the sun's out and we and then we pull it on when the sun goes down. So when you when you're if you're going to get into using a 2nd cover keep that in mind that's more management you need to be pulling it off and on. You just can't leave it on. All right and facts and you can layer up many layers if you want my Uncle John used several layers to protect some tomato plants when in the spring when we had a late frost and ended up being in the twenty's outside under the covers that was in the low forty's and I think he used 3 he might have even used for covers I don't remember and you can you can double up recoveries out in the field too you know just have one roll cover that you have covering your crops all the time but then you know that it's going to get really cold you can pull a 2nd cover over it we've even pulled a 3rd cover over. You know some things that we really want to protect works too so all in all row covers probably give the best balance between cost efficiency protection and labor and here is a picture of what we call a quick I'm going to describe very briefly how you can make one of these for yourself. You there's 3 main things that you need 123. I guess for us but the 3 main things is you need the row cover right you need the sandbags to hold it down you can try using other things like rocks and stuff like that we just found that sand bags tend to be the most effective. The wind will work its way work this row cover loose you know if there's any any looseness in it the wind will find it. You know it seems to work pretty good in winds up to 30 miles an hour if you're if you have regular winds above that. I'm not sure how effective that would be. And then you'd be at the hoops themselves and the way you can make these hoops is you can get gray electrical conduit p.v.c. pipe from a hardware store you want it to be gray electrical if you just get white p.v.c. conduit or just white p.v.c. pipe it will become brittle and break down in the sunlight the grey want to specifically is for use outdoors and will stay flexible so you it's half an inch half inch gray electrical conduit pipe you get a 10 foot length of it and you bend over and it will cover 6 feet of growing space we have great p.v.c. pipe that we bought him I don't remember 20072008 we're still using it so you know some of it has broken. But it does last quite a while now actually we cut the p.v.c. pipe a little shorter than 10 feet because we have a row cover that is 10 feet wide and we want the row cover to lay on the ground on both sides so I don't I forget exactly how much we cut off of the end of it was like a foot or something you know for maybe a foot maybe a foot and a half. Then. We took. Short pieces of rebar like a 2 foot piece of rebar and you put it but you pound it into the ground on either side and then you push the p.v.c. pipe onto the rebar and helps hold it in a vertical position on the side so it's not. So it stays vertical and not just coming out of the ground at an angle so that's one way and we space them about 5 feet apart. While the it's 5 feet between the bows for one boat to the next. It's 6 feet from it will cover 6 feet you know for one side of the boat to the other side it's 6 feet across the ground so we have 230 inch beds in a 12 inch walkway between the beds. And then you want to have a sandbag on every single bow and then a couple on the ends and you want to pull that row cover tight another another way you can make it do it as you can get a 10 foot long metal electrical conduit pipe and Johnnie's seeds sells a bender that you can bend your own metal electrical conduit hoops and then those they leave them 10 feet long but you push them down into the ground right and because they're metal They're more rigid and stronger so that is another option as well if you want to use a metal electrical conduit pipe and these quick coops are very easy to set up they're very cost effective effective it doesn't it's not doesn't cost very much to set one of these up and they can keep you with fresh greens all winter long in a lot of places and I should say if you if you're in a place that's going to have snow you might we use the half inch electric conduit you know and space them 5 feet apart but if you live in a place where you have snow you might want to use the 3 quarter inch conduit and maybe even space them like 4 feet apart or closer to each other. Yeah we have had them flattened. In a one inch snow. All right and then the next step up is to make a well you can make quick hoop on the next step up as make a high tensile or Caterpillar tunnel those are basically the same term for 2 different ones my cousin Jonathan actually sells Caterpillar tunnel kits if anyone is interested his his business is farmers friend if you look at Farmer's friends you can get Caterpillar tunnel kits and we don't have time to go into the details on Caterpillar tunnels and who poses in greenhouses at such a but each one is basically a stage up and costs a little bit more. I will say that to the best of my knowledge Jonathan's Caterpillar tunnels are the cheapest way that you can get plastic that you can walk under Yeah covering your ground yeah a caterpillar tunnel takes it to a height that you can easily walk under it it's not you can generally have 4 beds in there. And he has just started selling and balls as well which basically makes it a small hoop house as what it really is is it basically a small hoop house. The difference between a hoop house and a greenhouse is a greenhouse is a heated structure a palace is an unheated structure greenhouses often will have 2 layers of plastic with an air blower that blows air in the middle creating an insulation layer of air on them. Really any in the house that is heated when technically be a greenhouse but that's just typically that like the more you move in that direction that's what greenhouses and up being all right so I'm going to take a very short moment if you all are interested in. Those. Thanks so much this is my wonderful wife Natasha my little boy Ethan and. Would you like to see very quickly what we have available and what you can pick up as your bonuses Ok so very very briefly. At the booth we will have these available 1st of all we have a couple classes that my dad and I did online this is a winter gardening class going over our c.t.v. strategy it's basically what we just covered here actually on a flash drive so if you want a physical copy this one is organic gardening class 7 proven garden cheats that stop the bugs from destroying your veggies boost your soil health and you can double your harvest without using toxic or harm for pull chemicals so it's it's different garden cheats it includes some of what we talked about with pest control but we pull in some other different garden cheats as well we call them Garden cheats but there are ways that you can make gardening better and faster and easier for you. This this is a d.v.d. the both of those are on flash drive this is a d.v.d. called 7 Secrets of organic gardening it's actually a seminar that my uncle John did and. I believe it's about 2 and a half 2 hours to 2 and a half hour long seminar covering 7 Secrets of organic gardening from starting your own starts to dealing with weeds cultivating to you he might have talked a little bit about extending season I'm not sure about that he does talk a little bit about pest control in here as well it's in a d.v.d. format so these these of these 3 those of you who I said could get a bonus come by the booth and you can pick out one of these any one of these we are also putting these on clearance sale so if anyone wants to come by normally they were like this was 20 I think these were maybe 15 or something 15 or 20 were putting them on clearance sale of them for 10 bucks or you can get all 3 together for 25 so we're just wanting to move them so if any of you are interested in them you can come by the booth and get those we also have our home gardening course this is a flagship home gardening course that goes into a lot more detail. It comes on a flash drive it I know it looks you know it's kind of deceptive because these are both the same size right but this home gardening course has over 800 hours of demonstration and teaching videos going step by step through the process of of building and growing a garden and so it covers literally everything from planning your garden to starting your starts a lot more in-depth on pests and diseases and trouble is seeing and watering and and all those things a lot more visual demonstration videos in here as well so if you're interested in that you're welcome to come by the booth otherwise also at the booth like I mentioned earlier if any of you are interested in reserving your spot to joy 2 for the seed time app how many of you are currently born to grow members do I have any hands yes awesome Fantastico is love my. Members so. If you would like to reserve your spot one of the easiest ways to do that is to become one of our gardening members we have a membership where you get online access to a lot of training as well as you would get instant access to our current click and drop gardening calendars they are not as flexible as the app and as a member you would get 1st access to the app when it launches so that's the easiest way to reserve your spot. If you didn't want to become a member right now we do have another way to reserve your spot you can ask you can ask me about that but that would be the easiest way also with the membership we have an option with our elite members where my dad and I jump on it once a month and we do a live a live meeting together and it's a lot of fun we are members jump on the ask questions we do a little training session we give a little garden update from what's happening in our garden and we also have a private Facebook group that they interact with throughout the month as well so if you're interested in any of those Feel free to come come by the booth or if you have any questions or just want to talk we would love to spend some more time with you it's been a real blessing to be able to share with you and you guys have been such a fantastic fantastic audience. All right well so we take just a couple questions we have 2 minutes before 5 we can take a couple questions before we enter. It can come precut So if you go to like Lowe's or Home Depot they often have 2 foot length of rebar that you can use. You can cut it yourself but then you need some type of grinder or torch or something like that to do it. Twice. All right where do you buy your row covers there are multiple places online my cousin's store farmer's friends he actually sells row covers there and they sell sandbags. And so that's what that's the 1st place I point you to write but you can also get them and Johnny's Stanny sells row covers 7 Springs farm online it's another another source you can buy rivers. So all of those are online so 7 Springs as an online store Johnny's online as well and farmers friend farmers friend. Farmers for and dot com Yeah. Yes So if it says it's a row cover is it breathable Yes Absolutely yeah. Another another term for them is frost cloth that would be another term that you might see. Good question it makes them a lot heavier and harder to manage. Otherwise it doesn't not necessarily I mean we have it there we haven't done anything different with it when it rained you know in the wintertime you know really it's not a an issue there breathable enough that. Too much rain isn't isn't the problem really. The one thing is that you know if you're if you're pulling the road covers. And it's and it's near freezing they can if they're wet they will stick together and it's. It's really it's almost impossible to get them apart without tearing them and so you want to make sure that you have them in place. Before you get wet and freezing conditions. But you want to get something that's that's pretty beefy. You know we have. Poles brother in law Luke Fisher is in is in Oklahoma and. He put up who palaces that were like ours and they were destroyed it's happened more than once you know his hoop ours has been completely lifted off the ground and moved into a separate pasture so and it didn't fare well so yeah we get what what large winds can do and with quick coops. Yeah it may not work in Maine and you may have to figure out something better or figure out a way that you could protect it from the wind somehow so the question was is the cloth resilient enough to stake it and know it will tear Well there's there is something called a ground staple. That's one of the things we used initially before we got to the sandbags and. But they're you know you you want to be able to take those off and put them back on again and it's hard to pull the staples out of the ground and put them back you know it's a pain. Another thing you can do is you can prove earth along the the road cover to hold it in place you might be able to do that on one side but you'll need the other side you know so that you can lift it up and down so there are some other things but honestly we tried I think we've tried almost everything that you can try from you know jugs and lumber and rocks and we tried all kinds of different ways of holding these down and these sandbags are by far the best thing they're just the easiest to manage. The one thing about sandbags you do need to make sure that the material that's used for that sand bag is u.v. resistant. You know a lot of the things that the makeshift things that you use or could be tempted to use. Are not u.v. resistant and they'll break down and fall apart in the sun so the and we did have the the unfortunate experience of buying some sand bags in which the thread used to sew the sand back together was not u.v. resistant and the bags just fell apart so. You want to make sure that whatever material you're using is u.v. resistant that's that's very important All right well it's been a little bit of a marathon All right so we're going to go ahead and wrap up here and thank you so much for for listening and going through that through the course this media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio or.

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