Raised bed covers

I built some raised beds last fall. Now I’m wondering if it’d be worth adding some type of season extension. Some type of mini low tunnel/greenhouse structure. Ideally tall enough I could use a row cover with in the fall for frost protection of peppers and other sensitive plants plus grow cold tolerant plants later in the fall.

Doing some searching there are tons of different designs. Mostly PVC pipe and some wood structures. My question here - does anyone have any first hand experience with different designs? Pros/cons?

I use agribon on top of some flexible rods (linked below) that I insert into the soil. I add heavy rocks to weigh the agribon down, and overall it seems to work okay for frost protection. A better system would be adding in a hinged mechanism for quick access.


A cattle panel can be cut to length… and easily bent to form a arched top structure for a bed… or raised bed.

I grew greens in this one from early last October until… well it is still loaded with lots of nice leaf lettuce and spinach today.

300 incadescent Christmas lights provided enough heat to get my greens safely thru 3F low just before Christmas… and several days in the low teens.

I had just that one layer of floating row cover on it on our average cold nights … for example 32 - 20. But during that extra cold spell I added extra old bed sheets and blankets.

For the large majority of our winter no cover was required… I usually only put the cover on if below 30… and only turned on the Christmas lights when extra cold.

When the cover is rolled back you can easily harvest greens thru the panel frame.



@sockworth curious, what zone are you in?

@TNHunter those greens look amazing and looks like nice strong system. Good idea using the cattle panel.

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I’m somewhere between 6b/7a. It hit 0F here this winter.

Now that you mention it since your zone is much much colder, a simple fleece might not be that great for most of your winter. You’ll probably need at least a double layer hoop house if you want to be growing something in dead of winter. If you can feed and maintain a large compost pile in the hoop house, you could get some free heat from the composting process.

Check out videos here. He’s in Chicago,

OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening - YouTube


I’ve ran across his videos. It’s pretty impressive what he manages to grow in that climate with no added heat.

I ran across this video too. These look pretty nice and they could be swapped out with screen or cloth during the growing season