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How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

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How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/22/2010, 4:55 pm

Just thinking ahead here how do you cover your boxes to keep weed seeds from blowing in after you are done? I am in zone 4 with lots of snow and cold in the winter, windy in the fall. I have the composite beds so I really can't nail or screw anything into them. I also have to consider the snow etc... that we get so I am thinking I need something porous for the water to get through but not the seeds. Any ideas? I was almost debating twin bed sheets that I tack down into the soil (they go on sale in the fall when kids go back to school.

Thanks!
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  boffer on 6/22/2010, 5:04 pm

I make plastic pup tents to keep the ~25 inches of winter rain from washing nutrients out of my soil and keep them clear of maple tree whirlybirds.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/22/2010, 5:11 pm

Boffer---do you think they would hold up under 3 feet of snow? Never thought about washing the nutrients out, but then, for me, the ground is frozen and nothing is washing out I suppose.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  chocolatepop on 6/22/2010, 5:21 pm

I just use painters plastic and bricks, logs, rocks, to hold it down.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/22/2010, 5:26 pm

Has anyone experimented with an over winter crop like winter wheat to add nitrogen to the soil?
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  silverbug on 6/22/2010, 5:37 pm

Hm, I wasn't planning on doing anything. Now you've got me wondering.

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  Megan on 6/22/2010, 6:09 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:Has anyone experimented with an over winter crop like winter wheat to add nitrogen to the soil?

No, but I've been thinking about it for a while now. I was looking at Hairy Vetch but the little comment about it becoming a perennial if allowed to set seed worries me just a tetch. The others (in the Baker Creek catalog) seem to want to be planted late summer but I intend to still have regular crops going then.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  boffer on 6/22/2010, 6:25 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:Has anyone experimented with an over winter crop like winter wheat to add nitrogen to the soil?

TMW when I can just add some 5 way compost!

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  herbarium on 6/22/2010, 8:18 pm

I haven't ever covered mine and really haven't had a problem with weeds. I add more compost in the spring before planting and it does not appear that I have had a problem with nutrients leaching.

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  Megan on 6/22/2010, 8:22 pm

I do have a mature maple tree not too far away (neighbors yard) which does shower us with twirlies every year, so a cover isn't a bad idea now that I've torn out almost all the grass and just open beds left. Just need to figure out what.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  Chopper on 6/22/2010, 10:31 pm

A giant shower cap would be just the thing.

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  boffer on 6/22/2010, 10:48 pm

@Chopper wrote:A giant shower cap would be just the thing.
and paint the veggies on it that you'll be dreaming of growing when spring finally gets here...
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  quiltbea on 6/23/2010, 1:02 pm

I'm in Maine where winter snows covered my raised beds last winter.

This is a picture taken Feb 14th. When the snow melted and higher temps warmed the soil, I didn't find any excess weeds seeding in my beds.

This winter after harvest I plan on digging the fallen leaves into my beds and then sowing winter rye on top of my beds, but only for its nutrient value when its turned under next spring.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/23/2010, 1:24 pm

So some have covered and others haven't. I am a little leary not covering them because we have a lot of tall grasses and trees right near the gardens (blowing fall winds) and I would hate to have done all this work only to have to start weeding like before. Tons of weeds each year. I think I might try the plastic and rocks.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  silverbug on 6/23/2010, 7:48 pm

Kind of interesting, but my helicopters, whirlies, whatever seed pod thingies from the maple (HUGE thing) in my back yard all come down after planting is done, so, I'm pulling out trees from the SFG still....MASSIVE crops of maple trees growing in the gutter (that's hubby's job) and it seems that clusters of the things find their way under my grid. A cover wouldn't solve that problem for me, unless it were some kind of netting that I kept in place for the whole planting and initial growing phase. I think the last of them stopped falling only 2 or 3 weeks ago.

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  Megan on 6/23/2010, 8:02 pm

@silverbug wrote:Kind of interesting, but my helicopters, whirlies, whatever seed pod thingies from the maple (HUGE thing) in my back yard all come down after planting is done, so, I'm pulling out trees from the SFG still....MASSIVE crops of maple trees growing in the gutter (that's hubby's job) and it seems that clusters of the things find their way under my grid. A cover wouldn't solve that problem for me, unless it were some kind of netting that I kept in place for the whole planting and initial growing phase. I think the last of them stopped falling only 2 or 3 weeks ago.

We finally broke down and got gutter covers just on account of that. They are a bit expensive but pays for itself pretty quickly. (For various reasons, neither of us will go up on a ladder that high.) Well worth it. I am always plucking baby maples out of the yard, too.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  aspiegardner on 6/23/2010, 8:13 pm

didn't cover last year thinking NO weeds near my garden area. Wrong so many blew in from who knows where it was a horrible mess.

I will be covering with plastic lightly nailed to the boxes.

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  PeggyC on 6/24/2010, 9:25 am

Page 176-177 of the ANSFG book covers this topic. I like the idea of covering them with a holiday table cloth and adding some ribbon to make them look like Christmas presents. What a cute idea.

As for mine, last year they just sat there, the dogs slept in them, dug in them, and I learned to cover them this year. might do the table cloth idea, but not holiday themed, since winter lasts like 9 months here, and it needs to span everything from Halloween to Easter.
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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

Post  boffer on 6/24/2010, 9:36 am

@silverbug wrote:...but my helicopters, whirlies, whatever seed pod thingies from the maple (HUGE thing) in my back yard all come down after planting is done...
I just remembered Choksaw talking about that same problem a couple months ago. Here's his solution, and there's a few more pics in his gallery.

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Re: How do you cover your boxes at the end of the season?

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