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Clear Poly Film Extends Gardening Season

Updated on December 10, 2014

Poly Film

Cold weather gardening presents the gardener with extreme conditions that have both benefits and challenges.

The long cold months help keep the pest population under control, for example.

On the other hand, the gardening season is short; the gardener may have no more than 90 days to plant, raise and harvest the crops.

Of course, because some plants, such as tomatoes and green peppers, must be started inside from seed, the actual gardening season begins four to six weeks earlier. You could buy tomato seedlings, for example and after a period of hardening them off, put them outside, but the problem that I have found with this method is a limited selection and I am fussy about tomatoes.

Beside, watching the plants emerge from seeds is an exciting part of the gardening journey; you get an opportunity to view Nature at work.

Prior to the seed starting season, there are the plant catalogues and seed orders to deliberate over and garden plans to be made and remade while winter drags on and on.

Fortunately for the gardener who does not want to be totally dependent upon the weather there are ways to extend the gardening season and you can incorporate those ways into your garden plan.

A greenhouse tops the list of ways that you can extend your gardening season. However, you may lack the resources (space and funds) to build one.

The next best way to create a longer growing season is the use of poly film. You can use black poly film to warm the soil; suppress weeds and as a mulch. Your local plant nursery is likely to carry a black, bio-degradable poly film that will do the job. I have used this method several times over the years and have been quite pleased with the results.

Clear poly film can be used to make row covers and polytunnels- both of which will provide you with more growing time.

A polytunnel is simply a tunnel that is made of clear polyethylene and used to grow herbs, tomatoes, flowers and a wide range of other plants that require a higher temperature and/or humidity than what is available in the environment.

Polytunnels can make great seasonal greenhouses as they will protect the plants from the wind and frost but are not heated. You can transfer your seedlings from your house to the polytunnel greenhouse to help them adapt to the outdoor environment.

Unlike polytunnels, row covers or floating row covers, require no support because they are lightweight. They literally "float" or lie directly over the crop; they are very useful when the weather suddenly gets cooler than anticipated.

Poly film helps extend the gardening season and enable the gardener to spend more time in the garden; something that is much desired in cold climates.



Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    6 years ago

    can i use led grow lights in a polytunnle?

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    look for a coming hub on solar water fountains and other items, soon. thanks for stopping by.

  • foren83 profile image


    9 years ago from Phoenix

    Thanks Bob for the piece, have You any tips on solar water fountains?

  • profile image

    Led Plant Lights 

    10 years ago

    Sweet Hub bob, We are going to try and setup a Greenhouse this summer.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    you are welcome.

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 

    10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    Great HUB Bob. My small Greenhouse gave up it's life after braving the wind , sun, rain for the last 6 seasons. I will have to replace it eventually. I just hate being without it. This coming season will have to be with clear poly....what can you do.

    thanks for great information regards Zsuzsy


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