Here’s the last crop of lettuce, planted two weeks ago. As the temperatures cool, I cover many crops with this winter blanket called a floating row cover. It’s a spun bound translucent fabric so light the plants can hold it up. This is an inexpensive tool that will last for years, when we get close to a hard freeze; I’ll put a second layer on. Sometimes the lettuce can be picked as late as...
... January depending on the winter we have. I use floating row covers for a couple jobs throughout the season. For early spring and into fall they act as a mini greenhouse extending the season on both ends. Some winters, with the right crops, I’ve been able to have something in the garden for one full year. Things like kale, lettuce and spinach can survive with protection, especially if we have a mild winter.
Another use for floating row covers is insect control. I cover any Cole crop with the row cover as soon as I plant them. Things like cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels’ sprouts and others can be grow without fear of the cabbage worm. The row cover stops the cabbage looper moth from laying its eggs on the plants, therefore eliminating the worm. The cover stays on all season and also benefits the plant by its own greenhouse effect. Row covers can be used on many crops to stop insects.
There’s no reason to stop gardening when the frost is near, just put the right plants in the ground before it gets too cold. It’s a thrill to see what thrives and for how long. One of my vice’s is bragging, I can’t resist telling my gardening friends that I’m picking in November and beyond, so I’m driven both by ego and curiosity.