My main vegetable garden is basically divided into three sections-Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3-each section being around a 1000 square feet. So as I look at what I call ‘Section 3’, all I see is row cover everywhere! Looks like I laid out my laundry all over the ground but this is temporary. Row cover is used for extending the seasons and for protecting crops.
When I plant new transplants such as eggplants and peppers, I find our winds horrible on them, whipping them around and drying them out-totally stressing the poor little things so I put these mini hoops over them and put row cover on that protecting them from the ferocious winds we’ve had. When I plant seeds, I also cover them with row cover to protect them from the birds and other animals eating the seedlings as the germinate. Birds love bean sprouts, corn sprouts and cucumber sprouts but when I cover them, the birds don’t know what’s going on underneath when they germinate. So the garden looks like hell for a couple of weeks but will save me time and frustration of replanting more seeds later. This year after I planted the corn, bean and cucumber seeds, I put straw around them to help keep the soil moist and since I waited to plant later, an added bonus is the soil is pre-warmed and the straw will help hold in the moisture when I water.
Weather next 5 days from May 24
Look at the forecast! Finally summer is upon us! I can’t wait! Yesterday my soil temperature was 70° F in my main vegetable garden so I feel like it is safe to plant our warm season seeds now. I will plant squash, cucumbers, and bean seeds as soon as I can get them in now. Do cover them with some row cover to help keep the birds and 4 legged critters from eating your seedlings as they come up.
I also will transplant the peppers, eggplants and the rest of my tomatoes as well. I have too many veggies still to plant so I have decided not to grow winter squash as it takes so much space in the garden. Besides I grow giant pumpkins, the biggest squash of all so I can just eat that in the fall! Hope I can find room for everything!
corn under row cover
Battle with the birds! I will have to replant the scarlet runner beans as the birds got the seedlings. The row cover I put on where I planted the seeds blew off and the birds were able to get to the seedlings before I could cover them again. Yum bean sprouts! Some of the winter squash seeds got picked out before it even germinated so I replanted that also. Row cover is great stuff-it keeps birds, rabbits and bugs out, you can water through it, it provides some shade protection from the UV rays here in Santa Fe at 7000 feet altitude and it helps against hail (unless it is huge) by diverting the hail from punching holes in big leaf plants like pumpkins and winter squash. I keep lightweight row cover (.03-.05) on until the plants start to flower and then you need to take it off for the pollinators to do their thing. As you can see in the picture I uncovered the corn seedlings which are under the row cover. The drip system is also under the row cover and the seedlings are coming up under it. After the seedlings are bigger, the birds won’t be interested and I will take it off. A friend of mine reported that her birds have even poked holes in her row cover-at least my birds haven’t figure out how to do that!