Normally we’d have more sun right about now, and this pattern that we’re seeing now is definitely impacting the garden plans.
So what options do you have for getting past weather problems?
Well, first let’s look at the main problems caused by this sort of weather pattern. A lack of sun, and low temperatures. Both of which impact the growth rates of many plants.
On to methods of getting around a chronic lack of sunshine!
The biggest and most obvious one is a greenhouse. But they can be expensive, and are somewhat permanant. So if you don’t want it around all the time, this isn’t necessarily your best bet. That said, a greenhouse is a pretty handy thing to have and will also help you at the end of the growing season.
Another good option is a simple hoop house style row cover. You can put these together yourself fairly easily, and they can go over a long row or a nice square raised bed as well.
The easiest way to put one of these together is to set up pvc or metal pipe over your growing bed in a hoop shape, then drape plastic over it. Make sure to secure everything, and consider putting a pipe lengthwise to keep your hoops from falling over too easily.
Another solid method is a floating row cover. It’s basically a cloth or plastic type cover that is loosely draped over the plants. It helps keep in some of the warmth from the sun and helps keep the soil warm.
If your plants don’t need protection from the cold, but the soil is still a bit chilly, consider a plastic mulch. A simple black plastic cover right on the soil with little cutouts for the plants will help keep the soil nice and warm by absorbing sunlight. And it keeps most of the weeds down too!
What tactics do you use for dealing with early season weather issues in your garden?