5 Simple Season Extension and Plant Protection Techniques

5 Simple Season Extension and Plant Protection Techniques

In this video we’re going to discuss five
different ways to protect your tender crops from pests, diseases,
inclement weather. And you know just by giving them
a little bit of a helping hand, especially early on in their life, you’re going to get them off to a healthy
start and the result is going to be an Epic harvest. Kevin Espiritu here from Epic Gardening
where it’s my goal to help you grow a greener thumb. And growing a greener thumb involves
protecting your sensitive young crops. We protect them from the cold,
protect them from pests and, if you watch to the end of the video, protecting them also from too
much sun and too much heat. There’s a bonus tip at the end
for that. Now before we begin, I will say that this video is sponsored. It’s sponsored by Gardener’s
Supply Company who are an
employee-owned gardening products company based on the east
coast that I’ve worked with for years. So we’re using some of their products to
showcase the different methods that you can use and I think you’re really going
to enjoy some of these clever things that they’ve come up with. But these are all tried and true methods
that people have used for decades and decades. There are certainly
ways to DIY it as well. Everyone, I forgot to mention that if you want 20
years of pest and disease prevention in the garden, make sure to cultivate the
Like button and without further ado, let’s get into the video. Crop
protection method number one, the pop up crop protector. That is the easiest thing you’re ever
going to get as far as protecting your crops. The thing that I like
about this is let’s say, like has been the case
here even in San Diego, I know something’s going to
get absolutely blasted by rain. If you’re in a colder
zone, sleet, hail, snow, and you have some tender seedlings. I
have some tender lettuce seedlings here. These are maybe two weeks old. They still
can get a lot of damage from a frost. They can still get a lot of
damage from really heavy rains. And so if I know that,
and I have a small bed, let’s say I have maybe
a two by four foot bed, I can come through with this – compacts
pretty small – and then we come in, boom, boom. And then the bonus that you can also use
this for is you can use it basically to force spring to come earlier. So if you have a nice seal over the
top of the soil, your temps go up 5, 10 degrees Fahrenheit,
your humidity goes up. So let’s say you’ve direct sown some
carrot seeds and carrot seedlings, once they germinate,
they just can’t dry out. Or else they get absolutely
destroyed. They will not survive it. So what you could do is you could
throw a little bed of carrots in here, pop this over the top as soon as
you start to see germination or even beforehand, and now you’ve protected that
soil, you’ve protected those carrots. And so you’re actually gonna
get germination. Really
when it comes to carrots, as soon as you get them past
germination, you’re good to go. So something like this,
the pop up crop protector, can be a fantastic way to do it and it’s
made out of a really sturdy material. So it’s not going to get any tears
like you’ll see with a lot of these, I hate to say it, more cheap materials.
Crop protection number two is a cloche. A cloche is an old school
method of protecting plants. This is the Sunny Forcing
Cloche from Gardener’s Supply. What I like about this one in particular, it’s heavy duty plastic and
it’s got a movable vent system. So you can move, let’s say
it’s really going to be cold, there’s gonna be a lot of rain.
Close the vents overnight, you’re going to be completely fine. The temperatures will be boosted to be
protected from that inclement weather and then when it gets a little
sunnier or the rain lights up, you can boom open it up and now you
have ventilation. On top of that let’s say you have it closed,
right, and it does rain. Your plants are still
gonna get some water, so it kind of meters the water out because
in each of these four quadrants here, you actually have a hole at the
bottom. So watch this. We’ll do that. I’m dumping a lot of water in and it’s
dumping a little water at a much slower pace. And so if it does have
a crazy storm, it’ll fill up. Some of it will flow over,
some of it will come in, it’ll come in at a nice even pace. Our
third option is actually another cloche, but it is much smaller and the
plastic is a little bit lighter duty. So it’s more of an all purpose, general
purpose cloche. This one over here, the one we just looked at is of
course a little more heavy duty. You can see just by giving it
a little knock versus this one, it definitely pushes in a little bit more, but it comes in a set of six and
it’s still got the ventilation. Now the thing that’s different is there’s
two ventilation holes on this one. There are four on this one and this one
has these little water reservoirs that help a little bit of drainage
come through the top. Now the other thing that I
like about this one is again, you can use it on like let’s say a
single tender plant like this delicious, dazzling blue kale here. But, tada, you have these things
called ventilating risers. So if you wanted to add a little bit
more airflow, a little bit more humidity, what you could do is just pop this in
about one third of the way around each of them, come here, you come here,
don’t drop it on your plant. And then you come right here
and you just do one of these. So you can have it floating just slightly
above the plant if I adhere this in there correctly. So you have airflow coming from
both the top and the bottom. So if you have a plant that you
just really want to protect from, let’s say a sensitive pest or just a
sensitive time and boost the temperature a little bit, then you can do that without
having the temperatures skyrocket, humidity skyrocket. And potentially
just cooking the plant to death. Crop protection number
three, a long cloche. This is the Cool Weather Grow Cloche. The thing I like about this one is not
only does it fit a really narrow bed, so if you have a two by
four, two by eight foot bed, really common style for many gardeners, but it’s extendable and so you can take
another one. If I had a really long bed, like I was mentioning a two by eight for
example, I could just move this over, connect this to this and then I
could then put the end pieces on. And speaking of the end pieces,
this is what those ones look like. So you can get full enclosure and
just pop an end on just like this. So let’s cover our beans up right here. Boom beans are covered and then the back
of our kale is also covered over here. The other thing that is really nice
is you do have the ventilation up top, similar to our medium cloche that we
showed you earlier on in the video. Then let’s go ahead and make it rain
and you still have nice drainage through the top. So you do get some flow of water, even if you’re trying to protect
it from inclement weather. Now we’re getting into one
of my favorite methods, not only for cool weather protection
like we’ve been talking about, but also pest protection. So if you’ve ever struggled as I have
with any of your brassicas, your kales, your cabbages, your lettuce, any pest that flies and
then lands and lays, eggs, row covers, Floating Row Covers,
they’re going to protect you. I can’t get through this. Your
bugs can’t get through this. It’s the perfect solution. So the thing you’ll need is
something to hang it over, right? So these are the super hoops. What we’ll do is we just take
them and you just bend one. These fit actually really nicely in
the raised beds that I personally love. The Birdies Raised Beds. So let’s go ahead and assemble
this and we’ll talk about it. Once you actually have it
suspended over the frame, my little hack because my raised
beds have really thin metal walls, is I just use binder clips. So you want to get it on there and get
it secure because the last thing you want is this thing blowing all over the place Our floating Row Cover is set up and
let’s think now about what we’ve actually done. First of all, we’ve
created a physical barrier. Physical barrier for a flying pest
is going to be your number one way of stopping because if you think
about how to prevent pests, you either have to kill them or you
have to stop them from reproducing. So what we’ve done here is we’ve stopped
any flying pests from being able to reproduce underneath the row cover. Now you still can get a lot
of pest problems if there
are larva or eggs already under there. So before you
put a floating row cover up, I really recommend inspect your plants,
especially those kales, those cabbages. Really make sure that there’s
nothing there already. Then put your Floating Row Cover over
and then you can rest assured that you’re not going to have a whole lot of
pest pressure. When I grow cabbages, especially here, I get cabbage worms like crazy and I do
this every single time and my cabbages blow up because they don’t get
attacked early on in their life. Now another thing you can do here
is you can extend your season. So this is going to help your beds cool
down slower in the fall and warm up quicker in the late
winter to early spring. Because remember you’re going to be
creating a little bit of a more hot and human environment under here.
And a lot of you might be saying, okay well that’s all fine and good
but you might be losing some light. It still lets about 60% of light through. So when you’re growing something
like a shade tolerant green, we’ve talked about that in a recent
video, then it’s still fine. And remember, I would prefer to use this at the early
stages of life when the plant’s not hyper, hyper hungry for life – there’s not tons
of leaves on the plant and then get it off to a good start.
Once those temps warm up, once the pest pressure might start to
cool down a little bit or the plant is healthy enough to combat it, then you go
ahead and deconstruct this. All right, warm weather gardeners I
did not forget about you. I am one myself over here in San
Diego, zone 10B. You guessed it. Our final one, our bonus
pick is shade cloth. Now shade cloth is really interesting.
It comes in a lot of different types. There are a lot of different
varieties. So again, it’s the one from Gardener’s
Supply, it’s a 50% shade cloth. What that means is that 50%
of the light is cut out. Which means that when we drape it over
like we will do and we have done with our frost blanket, we have now
protected our sensitive lettuce. Let’s zoom fast forward through
spring now we’re in the summer. Now you’re going to get crazy bolting
on lettuce and a lot of sensitive greens and even just one day of heat can kind
of ruin the flavor and really just mess with the crop. And so in this particular case we want
to do the opposite of the frost blanket. Now this will protect from pests as well, but really the the key thing here is
we’re cutting some of that really hot sun in the mid day and we’re also protecting
from birds and some other pests as well, while still allowing
cool air to flow on through. So you can still see through
it pretty well. But again, it’s cutting half of that sunlight and
these guys are getting a nice breeze underneath still and so you’re
going to slow down the bolting. They’re going to stay nice and sweet, not so much bitterness into them and
really it’s a great way to extend a spring crop a little bit further into the
season. When it comes to crop protection, it really is about asking yourself one
question. And that question is this, what is the thing that’s going to impede
the growth of my plants at this moment in time? So is it too cold? Do I need
to warm the zone up a little bit? Maybe I’ll throw the pop
up crop protector on. Just a quick little hit of temperature
and humidity boost. Maybe it’s too hot. I’ll throw the shade cloth on, protect
my tender greens, slower to bolt, nice and sweet for longer. Maybe I need
to spot treat for pests. Just boom, you’re not getting in my cabbage aphids. I’m throwing the cloche on top and
you have no chance of getting in. So I’m actually really curious. For
me, I know it’s, it’s cabbage worms, it’s aphids and those are
the really the top two. Japanese beetles are actually
another, maybe the top three. So comment down below your arch nemesis
pest. But again, so many options. Many of these you can DIY, but man, I really do like both the quality and
the variety of the different options at Gardener’s Supply Company, which
is an employee owned company. Everyone there loves to garden. I’ve worked with them for
years and years and years. So if any of these things caught your eye, at least go take a look at the products
and see if it’s something that you might want to add to the garden this
year. But guys, until next time, the sun is setting. I’m going to
enjoy my time here in the garden, kind of chill out for a little bit
and I’ll see you in the next video. Good luck in the garden
and keep on growing.

17 Replies to “5 Simple Season Extension and Plant Protection Techniques”

  1. Got a favorite plant protection method? Drop it in the comments. Here are the links to the products I talked about:
    1. Pop-Up Crop Protector: https://bit.ly/popupcrop

    2. Sunny Forcing Cloches: https://bit.ly/sunnycloche

    3. Cool Weather Row Cloches Set: https://bit.ly/rowcloche

    4. Floating Row Covers: https://bit.ly/floatingrowcover

    4a. Super Hoops: https://bit.ly/gscsuperhoops

    5. https://bit.ly/shadenetting

  2. Very informative. Tobacco caterpillars killed my favorite cherry tomato plant. 😭.Thank you. Tips will come in handy

  3. Thanks for these tips. I like using covers to avoid applying pesticides and they help me get my growing season started earlier!

  4. Love your channel. Love the Gardeners catalog too. But I do have to say that while they have amazing ideas and I've spent hundreds of dollars with them, a lot of their products are made as cheaply as they can get by with. I wish they would put a little higher quality materials with their great ideas and they would have the best products out there.

  5. How about snails? I’m worried for my salad I still need to plant in the ground. They’re small bunches like yours, but I don’t have a raised bed, they’ll go straight into the ground. Will the black shady fabric help?

  6. My favorite protection method is lizards. I make lizard habitat all around my raised beds. Second, I plant a few hummingbird plants through my garden, they eat their weight in bugs daily. Third, I attracted a pair of Phoebe Flycatchers.
    I haven't had trouble since I have them in place.
    I would like warmth of a row cover in spring and fall, though… maybe I could get a few melons here in the mountains…

  7. Wow, your video was right on time for me! I have just transplanted some of my kale and greens, from the starter cells, and I have been worrying about how I can prevent the cabbage moth from getting to them this year! I need to look into those super hoops as well as the floating row covers! Going to visit their website and take a look. So timely! Thanks for your video, I am learning quite a bit.

  8. I’m in an endless battle with flea beetles 😡. Got a few new tricks up my sleeve for this summer though. Thanks Kevin!

  9. Great video, Kevin! I battled squash bugs last year for the first time. I’ll be doing row covers for sure this year!

  10. My enemies are aphids, whiteflies and Japanese beetle grubs. I like your techniques for above ground protection, but the grubs are in the soil. If you have any grub issues, what do you use?

  11. Great tips Kevin Thank You!
    I like the super hoop stuff, but also the first pop-up one…can it be tacked down for windy season?

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