It is now time to get my gourd plants in the ground. Our spring has been warmer than usual and my beds are dry enough to plant in. Having raised beds lets me get into the garden earlier since they dry out faster.
Last year I used black plastic in my bed and I plan on using it again this year. This year I will add floating row covers. I had kind of forgotten how well they work. When I used to grow winter squash I would use them as soon as I planted to keep the cucumber beetles off. I always noticed how much faster and bigger they grew with that little extra heat compared to the plants that weren't covered. It kind of slipped my mind until someone mentioned it on the e-mail gourd list that I belong to.
The black plastic kept the weeds down nicely and since my beds are infested with quack grass and Canada thistle I am hoping to permenantly wipe them out with the use of the plastic each year. It may be an uphill battle since I can already see plenty of shoots on their way up.