Winter is coming and this year is a "La Nina" year. That means the Northern part of the country is going to be very wet and cold. So if you live in the Northwest and Northeast you can expect freezing temperatures and storms. To be prepared for the coming storms you can end up spending quite a bit of money on structures and covers. In fact, many people end up spending thousands of dollars in order to protect their plants and produce, and also to continue growing through the winter. Here are three excellent ways to preserve your greens as the ground turns white.
1.) The arched PVC greenhouse.
For around $100 of PVC fittings you can be on your way to building an 11.5 foot by 12.5 foot arched greenhouse. Covered with greenhouse plastic, an arched greenhouse has the ability to retain sunlight and to keep an even temperature inside due to its curved roof. This is particularly useful in winter months because not only does the structure cover up your plants but it also allows them to continue to grow and produce. An added feature of the arched greenhouse is that if you need to cover more ground you can always add more ribs to make the tunnel run whatever length you need it.
Additionally, arched greenhouses are particularly good at shedding the elements. Due to the curved roof snow easily rolls off, and strong wind is misdirected around the curves due to very few flat walls.
2.) Row covers. Using PVC pipe and Snap Clamps you can cover low greens and ground crops. Bending PVC into half hoops and staking them in the ground allows you to form a curved structure over your plants. The cover will trap daytime heat, warming the soil and protecting the vegetables from frosty evenings. Use row covers to add an extra layer of protection to cold frames, mini hoop tunnels, and unheated greenhouses. This pairing of season extenders is key in creating a year-round vegetable garden that provides a nonstop harvest and requires no supplemental heating.
3.) Cold Frame. This handy box is a small, unheated greenhouse that creates a microclimate by trapping solar energy to warm the plants inside. A cold frame also protects plants from potentially harsh environmental conditions. There are many different types of cold frames and they can be built from various materials. Regardless of the style or materials used, as long as it is an enclosure that allows sunlight in and can be sealed enough to trap the sun’s heat, it can work as a cold frame. Using PVC you can easily build a box frame and cover it like shown below. The roof of the box is hinged so that it can be lifted away to check on the plants and it utilizes clear plastic to let sunlight come through.
If you are looking for ways to protect your plants this winter, consider building your device using PVC pipe and Circo fittings. To see available kits and fittings click the button below. Happy Growing!