Everything listed under: frost protection

  • Extending Our Harvest Season

    Frost is imminent but you do not have to yield your still producing or ripening vegetables to it.   We LOVE our 1.5 oz. Frost Protection Fabric, a medium weight, breathable, permeable, UV treated spunbonded polyester fabric designed to protect crop plants from freezing, drying and extreme temperatures. Usually referred to as Floating Row Cover, it creates a warmer microclimate by capturing heat of the the day - and then slowing the loss of stored heat at night so it raises minimum temperatures, without suffocating, crushing or burning plants the way plastic could.  If days are warm, it is better to remove the fabric during the day and to cover well before nightfall.  Its light density and permeability allow air, water and sunlight through so plants can flourish beneath it even if left on for weeks.  Remember: there is no such thing as cold, just less heat.  The trick is to collect the day's heat and trap it for the night. 

     Protect tender flowers from the frequent the late frosts of spring. Even use it over apple trees and lilacs to save the buds (more). Use it in summer to protect plants from hail storms (leave it on for days).  Use it for flower boxes, vegetable gardens, row crops, fruit trees and flowering and fruiting shrubs (in a pinch, it can be used as filter fabric or a liner for moss baskets).

    In the past few years MANY gardeners, with full-sun gardens have been using the row-cover all summer (like a greenhouse cover) with excellent (actually far superior) results. The fact that the 1.5oz fabric cuts ~50% of the sunlight is more a benefit than a disadvantage in our high elevation gardens.

    In Autumn, your vegetable harvest time and blooming plant season can be extended by a month or more.  When it gets really cold, double up the layers and leave a string of C7 or C9 Christmas lights on around your plants at night.  We tested dozens of brands and weights and have been delighted with the durability and effectiveness of the one we now use.  Our bulk rolls are 12' wide by 300' long but we sell any length.  Our pre-cut packages are 12' x 10'.

    1.) Drape over the plants to be protected.  Support with stakes over (not touching) the plants if hard frost is expected.

    2.) Remove when weather improves. In early spring and late fall, garden plants thrive under the row cover for weeks on end.  After use, store out of direct sunlight (we use clean / new garbage cans to store ours... keeps out sun, rain and rodents).

    BTW, there is evidence to show that fertilizing your plants with seaweed gives them an extra measure of frost resistance (as well as providing micronutrients, improving flavors, strengthening stems and cell walls, and helping plants fight insects and diseases).  Kelp Meal, Maxicrop, etc... can be used ANY time of year. It is usually my first feeding of the year and often my last as well... (besides the BIOSOL on the lawn in November).

  • Colder NIghts - Frost Warning

    5/13: Frost potential the next few nights. Row-cover over tender plants. According to noaa, Truckee's "frost free period" is July 15-August 15 when we have a statistically lower than 15% chance of frost on each night.  Facebook Post

  • Truckee Gardening Season

    Our gardening season and our "growing season" are not the same. We were gardening in February this year, planting shrubs we didn't get to in the fall as well as seeds and bulbs we forgot we had.  MANY clients were preparing their raised-beds and planting beet and radish seeds. The could have been plating seedlings of chard and kale as well. The best spinach I've ever had was grown from seedlings I planted in early April that then laid covered with snow for 2+ weeks. Our growing season, according to NOAA, is our "frost-free period", when we have less than a 10% chance of ≤ 32°F on any given night, is July 15-August 15.  July 31 is the middle of our growing season.

    Our "average" temperatures are derived from wildly fluctuating daily temperatures at all times of the year. The average gives us a rough guide with which we make wildly fluctuating guesses at how cold it might get on any given day.  That said, it is a tool, much like the USDA zones or the useless-to-mountain-folk Sunset western zones (see Northeastern for a more useful tool).  I've posted this pic of our chalkboard before but it "bears repeating".

    Here is a graph of an "average" winter (temperature-wise). Jan15, 2013-Jan 14, 2014. For interest, note where the "average" nighttime low is ≥32° and where the average daytime temps average ≥70°F.

    I think that, without a greenhouse, our "average" mountain gardening season in Truckee is about March 15 - November 1 (or 15).  It is a matter of taking advantage of clear and warm conditions, choosing the right plants and crops and being able to protect the harvests of others (see RowCover). If you have an unheated greenhouse you can add 3-6 weeks on either end of that gardening season for some veggies. 

    I have planted hardy annuals in February MANY times with great success (pansy, viola, dianthus, calendula, stock, primrose) and I have also planted dormant trees and shrubs in December, January, February and March with excellent success.

  • Truckee Spring - Mid-May

    Day-length pretty close to its maximum now, the soils continue to absorb the sun's radiation and the average temperatures are climbing.  May starts with an average low of 27°F and ends with an average low of 34°F.  Our night-time temps have been WAY above average for weeks an averages are just the mathematical numbers in the middle of the extremes of reality.  It will be nearly miraculous (or ominous) if we don't have more snow and a lot more frost.  That is not to deter gardening, God-knows I've been going at it since early April and am delighted at my gardens.  My comments are to remind you to be prepared to cover when the cold returns.

    We are having a HUGE sale on our pre-packaged 10x12' 1.5oz frost fabric (packaged by "easy gardener") reg. 15.99 on sale for 10.99 through Memorial Day.  It is great to use when transitioning plants from the house or shade to the outdoors as well.  I just leave it over the plants for a few days.  It is also important to have on hand in for fall cold when I often leave it over the garden for days or weeks at a time.  AND as a bonus... WE use it top protect ferns, hosta, rhubarb, thimbleberry and dogwood from HAIL!  it works great.  If hail is called for, I cover plants before leaving for work.


Contact Villager

Villager Nursery, Inc
10678 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161-4834
Central Truckee, exit 186 off I-80
(530) 587-0771
www.villagernursery.com
info@villagernursery

Founded 1975, Incorporated 1990

California Nursery License 1975
No. C 3976.001, Co.29CA
Contractors License 1977
No. 413907-C27 LS
ISA Certified Arborist: Eric Larusson
No. WE-7983A

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