Protecting Your Garden and Crops in the Winter

If you live the coldest areas of the U.S., you know just how difficult it can get dealing with massive snow storms. When snow, sleet and ice begin to build up around your home, pretty much anything you’ve left outside isn’t protected from the bad weather. Luckily, there are plenty of options like portable garages and carports to help protect your vehicles and equipment from these storms. However, how can you protect more fragile items from the beating of a winter storm? What can you do to protect your crops and gardens from the winter?

According to Fresh Plaza, some strawberry growers in the Midwest are beginning to see the power of canopies as protection for their crops. You’ve noticed how expensive strawberries are in cold seasons? Well, canopies are helping growers extend the length of strawberry season. From the article:

“The strawberry high season in Maryland usually takes place from mid-May to mid-June, but with the system used by [growers], the production starts earlier in the spring and continues until the autumn. During several months, the performance under these tunnels can be the same as that of crops in California.”

The system mentioned above is based around protection from tunnels, or low canopies, as referenced in the Fresh Plaza story. Constructed out of long plastic plates placed about 30 inches above the plant bed, these tunnels reduce the chance that common illnesses will affect the crops:

“Since plants are protected against rain, the tunnels minimise the chance for the appearance of two strawberry illnesses known as botrytis and anthracnose. Botrytis tends to occur in cold and humid conditions, but anthracnose happens in hot and humid weather.”

By using this premise at your own home, you may be able to extend your own growing season by purchasing a greenhouse or canopy for resilient vegetables or crops you might grow at your home. Are you thinking about gardening through the winter?