Cold Frames and Hoop Tunnels Need Fall Maintenance

cold frameNiki Jabbour, who gardens year-round in Nova Scotia, shares this quick, easy and crucial maintenance tip for gardeners who use cold frames and hoop tunnels to extend their growing season:

When was the last time you cleaned your cold frame tops or mini hoop tunnel covers? Winter crops need maximum sunlight, but grimy plastic or glass covers will reduce light transmission.

Cleaning cold frame tops is easy; spray a soft cloth with a a water–vinegar solution or other natural cleaner and wipe clean. Avoid spraying near crops. To clean the poly used for mini hoop tunnels, spread the plastic on a clean surface (I use a portion of my lawn) and mop it with water and a mild detergent. Rinse well and then flip over and repeat. Allow the covers to dry completely before storing or covering your hoops.

Catch more tips and advice from Niki in every issue of Horticulture and at savvygardening.com.

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