The present common strategy to winter backyard will not be the simplest or greatest manner for you. This publish might provide you with some concepts for simpler winter gardening.

What I Used When First Beginning to Winter Backyard

After I first began rising crops in winter I used make shift chilly frames that Invoice produced from previous window frames coated with a superb high quality greenhouse plastic that was stapled onto the body. I used them efficiently for years till they fell aside.

The one two inconveniences to these have been 

#1 – Hauling them to the backyard within the fall and taking them out of the backyard in late spring. They’re not that heavy however awkward. (They usually take two fingers – so I’d have a tough time now as a result of one arm/hand is occupied utilizing a crutch.)

#2 – Having a spot to retailer them. (They don’t/didn’t stack.)

Right here’s an image  of them a few years in the past in my winter backyard.

Make shift chilly frames that I used once I first began to backyard in winter a few years in the past.

Falling for the Hype

By the point these make shift chilly frames fell aside the favored strategy to winter backyard at the moment was (and nonetheless appears to be) with tunnels made with PVC pipes coated with plastic.

Every little thing I noticed on-line made it look really easy after you get them put in. They don’t say a lot about what occurs when winds and ice and snow come.

Backside line is that we fell for all of the promotion.  There’s a lot cash to made with the sort of arrange. (As at all times – that doesn’t make it the most suitable choice.)

Putting in Tunnels Made with the PVC pipe and What You Want

Invoice at all times “put in” them within the backyard for me every fall. 

You want rebar, the PVC pipes, sturdy filament line (like fishing line) to help the pipes, after which plastic to cowl them, and a strategy to safe the perimeters of the material and/or plastic to the bottom. 

I used bricks. However the extra top the PVC tunnel has, the bricks don’t work nicely until there’s little wind and no snow or ice.

How It’s Executed

Items of rebar are pounded into the bottom. The PVC pipe suits over the rebar which holds it in place. Then the PVC pipes need to be stabilized  with sturdy filament line earlier than inserting the plastic over the pipes. 

As you may see within the image under the road is secured to every pipe by tying nicely. It’s secured to  the bottom at  each ends of the tunnel.  Invoice used lengthy J hooks for that objective.

(The hooks are chrome steel and look similar to a J. The lengthy finish goes into the bottom the filament is secured by tying to the curved a part of the J.)

This image of the PVC pipes that type the tunnel (earlier than including the plastic) was taken by means of the fencing. Click on on and enlarge to see the white filament line secured to the bottom within the entrance. Observe it again to every pipe to see it secured by tying to every pipe.  It’s also secured to the bottom once more on the different finish of the tunnel.

Our  Most important Downside with PVC Tunnels

If the filament line is finished accurately it really works nicely to some extent if climate situations usually are not too extreme.  However with extreme winds, snow or rain, or ice it was at all times a provided that more than likely the tunnels would collapse.

Invoice and I knew the primary yr we used them that we had fallen for the hype.  However we had them, so continued to make use of them.

Beneath is an image of what they regarded like coated.

The Finish of  PVC Tunnels for Me

We purchased sufficient provides for 5 massive beds. All these items we purchased to make the helps for the material and plastic have been hanging from the ceiling within the shed taking on area for the 8 years since Invoice died. 

(Invoice made/positioned rope helps that hung from the roof helps of the shed. Then when he eliminated the pipes from the backyard every spring he might slide them into the helps.)

From begin to end they have been manner too work intensive for me. And I knew when Invoice died I needed to discover a better manner.  

Simpler Winter Gardening – What I Do

Fortuitously for me there was one thing readily available to make use of as help underneath row cowl material and/or the greenhouse plastic.

It’s a lightweight weight however agency wire that known as “concrete reinforcing wire” on the place the place Invoice purchased it a few years in the past. It may be minimize  into panels of a size that fits you. 

I don’t keep in mind why we  purchased it however on the time Invoice minimize it into 5 foot panels. If a winter mattress is longer I take advantage of two sections.

Right here’s What it Seems Like

Right here’s an image of the wire help  positioned over a fall lettuce mattress. The row cowl material and the plastic haven’t but been put in place. (The pot with a brick on high is a lure set for voles that have been in that mattress destroying lettuce.)

Wire help for material and plastic positioned over a fall lettuce mattress. Makes for simpler winter gardening.

Right here’s one other image that reveals an in depth up of the wire.

A better view of the wire help I take advantage of for simpler winter gardening.

Even strolling with my crutch I can carry every light-weight 5 foot piece to or from the backyard simply.

You’ll bend every bit to type a semicircle that makes the tunnel. Beneath is roughly 12 or so inches for vegetation to develop. 

They’re excessive sufficient to accommodate fall planted lettuces, cabbages, kale, spinach, and many others.  By the point the time any of those crops begin rising taller – it’s late spring or early summer season and the wire help is eliminated  by then.

Securing the Wire is Straightforward

Every panel is secured to the bottom at every of the 4 corners with an earth hook. They seem like a U and are available varied lengths.   I take advantage of the 6 inches or 12 inches. 

The curved half goes over the wire of the body at a nook to carry it in place  when winds are extreme.  Then simply push the straight half into the bottom. They work nice.

(You too can use J hooks as beforehand described.)

Positioning the Row Cowl Material and Plastic

I take advantage of two completely different coverings for the tunnels. Every meets the demand of various temperatures and climate situations.

First positioned is the row cowl material.  (Since  material breaths it’s a more sensible choice than plastic until temperatures get under 28ºF.)  It is available in completely different thicknesses. Those designated as being the winter thickness, or the medium weight, or all objective are most popular.  Both is nice.

Since I received’t lay each the material and plastic over the wire help till temperatures are forecast under 28ºF  the material is the primary one positioned alongside facet the tunnel. (It’s the first pulled over the help and is adopted by the plastic layer when temperatures require it. )

And sure, I take advantage of each on the identical time throughout extreme climate.

Then for ease of inserting the plastic I pull the row cowl material over the tunnel earlier than I place the plastic alongside the facet.  The plastic will cowl the sting of the material already in place.

Safe with bricks (or no matter you may have that may work) on high of the plastic if you fold it to make it extra simply managed.  Then fold the material again to the plastic till temperatures immediate you to cowl the tunnels.

Each material and plastic is positioned alongside one facet till wanted. Within the image  above the plastic nonetheless must be folded to a extra manageable place after which secured.

When the tunnels are coated ensure that the material and/or plastic is secured on each side of the tunnel.

When extreme wind is forecast I take advantage of my tomato stakes together with the bricks to carry the material/ or plastic in place.  (images under)

Generally J hooks will work to assist safe plastic – in the event you’re cautious to not punch a gap within the plastic. You would possibly discover different issues that may work even higher.

Straightforward – however Takes Doing it to Get the Grasp of It

It’s not sophisticated but it surely simply takes doing it by means of varied climate eventualities to get the hold of it.

Within the 2 photos under – the tunnels are coated with each material and plastic and are prepared for extreme climate.

Coated with material and plastic.


Coated and secured. Tomato stakes are simply seen on the left facet serving to to safe the plastic. (Takes some doing to get the hold of it.)

Even in Winter Vegetation Want Air Circulation

Winter crops nonetheless want air circulation. So when temperatures are above freezing within the day however will drop once more at night time I open the ends of the tunnels in the course of the day. (Proven within the image under.)

Winter crops nonetheless want air circulation. So when temperature are above freezing within the day however will drop once more at night time I open the ends in the course of the day.

When temperatures will stay above freezing at night time and in the course of the day I lay each covers to the facet once more.

If freezing temperatures at night time will solely be round 32ºF I go away the material on however go away the plastic along with the wire help.

For extra element on this you will wish to overview this publish. I’ve linked to 2 extra that provides you with extra element on the finish of the publish.

Remaining Ideas

As at all times – let me know you probably have questions.

Hopefully this publish provides you with concepts that may make your winter gardening simpler and extra rewarding.

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