Cheaper than a greenhouse

I want a greenhouse. I *really* want a greenhouse. Oh my goodness, I *really* want a full-sized, well-built, gorgeous greenhouse. But it is definitely not in the permaculture budget this year, nor can I find agreement with my wife for where we would place the thing.

So I did the next best thing. I turned the raised beds into mini-greenhouses with slitted row covers. We started them in January to warm the soil to help the cover crops grow and jumpstart spring planting.

We ordered both the roll of row cover itself and the supporting wires in bulk and to share some with a neighbor for her to experiment, too.

I think we’ll be using them in the winter months each year after we put away the floating row covers to help overwinter some crops. Our lettuce grew well all winter in the cold frames, but production slowed way down in December-January. Next winter I’ll see if we can use these to keep leaf production higher.

More reasons to put effort into extending the harvest season are listed in this excellent article on Chris Martenson’s site.