I gave a talk a few weeks ago about extending the season for fall veggies by using an inexpensive floating row cover, and it’s time to see how well it worked. We measured temps down to 21 degrees (air temperature) at least twice last week. Daytime highs were only in the low 40’s. (Ground temperature remained just above 50 degrees because, well….East Texas is just like that.)
Let’s look at what survived to keep on growing for us and what didn’t.
We were surprised to find that the rat-tail radish is doing fine, even without cover. New Zealand spinach, which is really a hot weather crop, made it through under a light row cover.
Green beans, of course, would not survive temperatures that low, even under row cover, but we did manage to extend their season through the first frosty nights when temps were only down to about 30 degrees. For this 30 ft. row of Calima French Beans the extra time meant an extra 10 gallons or so of beans.
After the next few weeks, as we harvest the last of the fall veggies, we’ll put the last part of the garden to bed for the winter by putting out a winter cover crop of Elbon Rye. The growing rye will help build the soil and hopefully foil some pests (like root knot nematodes) that would otherwise winter over underground.
We’ll take off this week and weekend to visit family over the Thanksgiving holiday. So we won’t be seeing you at Farmer’s Market this week. It will probably be February when we get back there – just to help you get started with planting your own seeds for your spring garden!
We’re so very thankful for the support of our friends and community! You’re the best!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!