At Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery, we like to employ low tunnels over about 1/2 our beds in the fall and winter. We get some hardy greens through the winter this way, and protect the soil from pounding winter rains and wind to boot. In the past we have overwintered arugula, spinach, chard, mache, kale, collards, leeks, and even lettuce. This winter has been harsher than the last few, but our kale and spinach are still showing signs of life and the mache is as green as ever, the hardy little suckers. There are so many ways to do this and many materials to make the tunnels from. This is what works for us.
|18" rebar stakes places every 3' - 4' along bed|
|1 1/2" gas pipe hoops placed over rebar|
|Gas pipe hoops provide sturdy support for row cover|
|Heavy duty row cover offers about 5 degrees of frost protection to greens planted in fall. Black locust lumber we have on hand weighs down the sides and cinder blocks weigh down the ends.|
|Though the kale and spinach has died back under the cover, the hearts of the plants are still green and may regrow for an early spring crop|