How can I extend my gardening season using a hoop tunnel?
We live in Gorham and have several raised garden beds that receive full sun most of the day, at least six to eight hours of direct light even in the winter. We would like to extend the growing season by creating a hoop tunnel over the beds using plastic sheeting. However, we have a couple of questions about this. First, when should we cover the garden beds and how long should they be covered before the beds can be used? We need help determining the timing for when to sow seeds indoors and when to transplant seedlings.
Marjorie Peronto, Extension Educator, Hancock County
UMaine Cooperative Extension offered a webinar this past summer on this very topic, entitled All Season Gardening. In it, we give a thorough review of how to extend your gardening season using low tunnel structures and movable greenhouses over your garden beds. We start talking about low tunnels at minute 11:30 in the video. You will also find recommendations on planting dates in this webinar. Below is the resource list that was provided to webinar participants:
(no product endorsement intended)
- A Garden for All Seasons, Four Season Farm (PDF)
- Winter Growing Guide
- Winter Harvest Planting Chart
- Overwintering Planting Chart
- Calculate Your Persephone Days (finding the date for your location when daylight drops below 10 hours)
- High Tunnel Benders
- Wiggle Wire Poly Lock
- Vent Arms, Johnny’s Selected Seeds
- Quick Hoop Benders (Video)
- Greenhouse and Tunnel Supplies
- Snap Clamps for EMT