Season Extension

Extending you garden season can keep you in delicious veggies for more of the year.

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The Cool Season Garden

There are several vegetables that can be planted in cool weather. Fall In the garden catalogs you’ll see many vegetables that take less than 50 days to mature.  All of those are potential fall garden crops. The lettuce in the above photo is covered with row cover.  It’s a blanket that is water permeable, but keeps …

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Sloped Soil

Sloped soil that faces south towards the sun is warmer.  This can improve growth of vegetables, especially early in the season. Research done at the University of California’s Vegetable Research and Information Center found that even a small slope of six inches would raise mid-day temperatures 4-6 degrees F compared to flat beds.  The sloped …

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Heat From Water

Wall-o-waters work to add early-season heat to vegetables.  They collect warmth during the day from the sun, and then release it at night to keep plants warmer.  They work well in my experience. But wall-o-waters are an absolute pain to erect and to keep standing.  I heard a suggestion once to open them up around …

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Floating Row Cover

Floating row cover is a lightweight blanket for your plants.  It’s an easy way to extend your growing season.  It also provides some protection from damaging winds and insects. With row cover, you can plant earlier in the spring.  Your seeds will germinate faster and the plants will get off to a better start.  Unfortunately, …

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Raised Beds

Gardeners who want to extend their growing season to early spring and late fall will benefit from the warming effect produced by raised beds.  Raised beds warm up faster and allow for early seeding.  This will result in earlier crops. Another benefit – by establishing a permanent garden layout in which beds and walking paths remain …

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Cold frame

A cold frame is a four-sided mini-structure with a clear top. It is one of the easiest ways to extend your growing and harvest season. It is placed on the ground and is used to house, protect, and harden off seedlings and small plants when it is still cold outside in late winter or early …

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To extend your garden season, you may want to consider a hotbed.  A hot bed looks similar to a coldframe.  The difference Is that a hole is dug below the ground level.  In the hole, fresh manure is placed.  Then planting soil is placed on top of that.  As the manure composts/decomposes, it gives off …

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Small Tunnels

Building small tunnels around your plants with greenhouse plastic is a way to add warmth to your plants.  This will result in quicker growth and an earlier harvest. Build them 18 inches tall, and use a wire hoop arched over the plants and then a greenhouse plastic covering. Here is a link to a source for …

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The Hoophouse

A zone 5 short season climate can be difficult for a passionate vegetable gardener.  One of the ways we found to extend the season is with a hoophouse.   We built these a few years ago, and have been planting earlier in the spring and harvesting later in the fall ever since. We built this hoophouse …

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red robin tomato

Indoor Gardening in the Winter

It’s very easy to grow something other than grocery store cardboard in the winter months.  You can grow tomatoes indoors! Last year I planted a dozen or so of these Red Robin tomato seeds in pots under my grow lights.  They did well.  They produced enough for me to munch on every time I’d walk by …

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