Covering Plants for an Extended Harvest

January 29, 2016
Covering Plants
Celeste Longacre

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It’s starting to get pretty cold where I live. Yet, there are some plants that are quite hardy and don’t mind a bit of frost.

I generally cover my lettuce, spinach and kale and continue to harvest them—sometimes as late as Christmas. If you live further south, you might be able to keep these plants going all winter long with proper protection.

You want the plastic to be away from the plants so this requires some kind of support. I have hoops for the spinach and lettuce, but the kale was much too high for them. Luckily, it was up against a fence so I decided to be creative in building their support. I took some bamboo poles and inserted them in the ground in front of the kale. Then I placed another bamboo across the middle of the front to keep the plants away from the front of the plastic.

Then I took some small hoops and tied them to the top of the bamboo poles.

The other side of the hoop was clipped to the fence using clothespins and I tied them to the fence (snow can be quite heavy).

The whole lot was covered with plastic, pinned in places and grounded with rocks.

I picked all of the leaves out of the lettuce and covered it.

I did the same with the spinach.


You need to use some heavy rocks or the wind will just blow the cover off. I’m planning on having a nice, big salad for my dinner party on Saturday. The lettuce does need to be thinned and I’ll toss it with a bit of kale and spinach. Yum!


About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at for details.