Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and pest infestations are challenging today’s vegetable gardeners. But best-selling author Niki Jabbour has a solution: Growing Under Cover. In this in-depth guide, Jabbour shows how to use small solutions like cloches, row covers, shade cloth, cold frames, and hoophouses, as well as larger protective structures like greenhouses and polytunnels, to create controlled growing spaces for vegetables to thrive. Photographed in her own super-productive garden, Jabbour highlights the many benefits of using protective covers to plant earlier, eliminate pests, and harvest a healthier, heartier bounty year round. With enthusiasm, inventive techniques, and proven, firsthand knowledge, this book provides invaluable advice from a popular and widely respected gardening authority.
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Jabbour (Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix), Savvy Gardening blogger and radio host, offers a helpful guide to creating enclosures for vegetable gardens, in order to "grow more food for a longer period of time, grow higher-quality plants bothered by fewer pests and diseases, and mitigate the stresses caused by cold, heat, and extreme weather." The idea, she points out, is nothing new: "The first reference to using a greenhouse-like structure for growing food comes from Pliny the Elder in the first century CE." But, as Jabbour shows here, the practice has evolved to include structures large (polytunnels and geodesic domes), small (cold frames and mini-hoop tunnels), and very small (a plastic one-gallon milk jug with the top removed). She highlights the strategy's advantages, including protection from insects and other predators and greater environmental control each structure creates its own microclimate that maintains "a dance of heating and cooling, venting and maintaining humidity." Aided by abundant color photos, Jabbour further discusses determining which structures work best for which plants, and then building the covering one chooses. Her guidance will prove invaluable for vegetable gardeners determined to safeguard and prolong a robust harvest throughout the year.