In this edition of “Grow With Us” we look at the concept of growing with “protected culture.” Protected culture means growing crops in some kind of a controlled environment. On this small specialty crop farm, the farmers are using unheated hoophouses to extend their growing season beyond the frost free dates of the season and also to create a microclimate for specific crops that need growing conditions different than what Illinois offers on its own.
If you’re interested in knowing more about how hoophouses are built, check out this constructions time lapse video from Virginia Tech.
Most of us don’t have an interest in building a big hoophouse in our backyards. But there are lots of ways to grow with protected culture. Check out these resources to learn more ways you can try this at home.
Here are 26 different ways to build a “cold frame” to extend your growing season.
This article shares some other benefits to growing with some form of protected culture. Check out those crazy pop-up tents for your plants!
Try to think of ways you can apply these techniques in your home garden. Can you get creative with recycled materials and make your own small structure to create a microclimate for your plants?