Green, frugal, sustainable, simple, healthy, happy... No matter what we each call it, we come together here to support and learn from each other.

We are preserving our planet with our lifestyles. We are creating sustainable communities for our children. We are living the lives we want to live. Please join us!

--------------------

All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

Join Us Here, Too


Buy Sustainably

Join us in saving our family budgets and helping our local communities thrive.

10,000 Steps

With numerous environmental, physical and emotional benefits, what are you waiting for? Let's start walking!

Green Your Insides

For your family and our planet, start greening your own home.

Great Reading

How To Grow A Four-Season Garden – Part 1

Our Garden In November


Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told


When I moved to Geyserville, California in May of last year, I was excited to grow my own food for the first time. But immediately my neighbors dashed my hopes. They told me that it was too late to grow much this year – that I’d have to wait until next year. Sure enough, I found a pamphlet put out by the local Master Gardeners, confirming that it was too late to plant most crops.


Fortunately, I didn’t listen.


Matt and I first amended the soil. Then we made garden beds. And then, between mid-June and mid-July, we finally got in our tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, runner beans, bush beans, tomatillos, ground cherries, beets, carrots, radishes, scallions, corn, oregano, cilantro, fennel, and loads of salad greens of all different types. Plus worms and microbes to help them along. A few weeks later we planted kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, kale, more winter squash, melons, and started successional planting our greens and carrots.


What didn’t work? The melon plants produced tiny little melons that tasted awful. The corn never got knee high before it died. And my first try at carrots didn’t work. (But the second time they did better, and the third time they flourished.) Everything else thrived! Our first harvest was July 8th (below).


First Harvest


In September, our neighbors told us we would lose our garden to the rains any moment. In October, they said we would lose it to the frosts. In November, they gave up telling us about gardening, when we still had tomatoes on the vine and a full garden of veggies (which we shared with them). And it wasn’t just our neighbors, it was the nurseries that shuttered their doors, the hardware stores that put away their gardening supplies, and the conventional gardening books and websites that told us to dig up our old summer plants and mulch for the winter.


We harvested 240 lbs. of tomatoes from 4 plants. We consumed more zucchini and crooked neck squash than I care to think about (until I found the beauty of squash blossoms). We had many more beans than we could eat. We made loads and loads of tomatillo salsa, fresh even as a Thanksgiving appetizer. We had enough winter squash that we ate casserole, souffle, and pumpkin pie many times and still had two squashes left over in April. We ate out of our garden at every meal from July 2007 through the time we left in May 2008.


Lettuces Under Shade Cloth


We didn’t listen. But we read. And we paid attention to the weather. We covered our tomatoes as it began to get cold and wet and when there was danger of frost (we were still picking tomatoes on the solstice!). We sheltered our greens with a shade cloth (above), which kept the sun off in the summer and the rain off in the winter. We put burlap over our carrots in the summer and took it off as the weather cooled down in the fall. We stored root vegetables in the ground, harvested their leaves as tasty greens, cellared our green tomatoes when the frost did hit one too many times in late November, carefully stored our winter squash and beans, dried our ripe tomatoes in the oven, froze string beans and summer squash, and welcomed fresh lemons in the middle of winter… Truth be told, if we had to, we could have survived on are garden alone through the fall and winter.


All because we really wanted to do it and nothing was going to stop us. So we found ways to extend the seasons, and to use them to our advantage.


Roasted Winter Vegetables From The Garden


Ten Reasons To Grow A Four-Season Organic Garden

  1. Growing your own food reduces the distance your food travels from the farm to you (10 feet, say, versus 250-2,500 miles). That means you’re eliminating the petroleum products used in farming equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging, storage, and transportation.
  2. By reducing the distance your food travels from the farm to you, you also reduce your overall carbon output, taking a bite out of your impact on climate change.
  3. In the winter when most farmer’s markets close up shop, you’ll still have fresh, tasty produce.
  4. When you grow your own food, you also know where your food is coming from (no weird salmonella strains in your tomatoes and spinach, for instance).
  5. Home grown food tastes many times better and has more vitamins and minerals than vegetables raised in a monocultural setting.
  6. You can choose to grow various heirloom crops that you just can’t buy in a grocery store.
  7. You can choose to grow crops that aren’t genetically modified.
  8. You can save seed and create different varieties that are best suited for your little backyard microclimate.
  9. Knowing how to grow your own food makes you much more adaptable to whatever economic or environmental hardship that comes your way in the future.
  10. And lastly, it’s fun, it tastes better, and gardening nourishes your soul.


Carrots


When To Plant Fall and Winter Gardens


  • Plant in early to mid-summer for a fall garden.
  • Plant in the late summer and early fall for a winter garden.


Obviously this is a general rule of thumb. Some of you in the lower hardiness zones will want to be planting your winter gardens asap – yesterday even. I know I sound like a broken record, but seek out your local Master Gardeners and get your hands on a planting schedule for your area. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a general guide for you.


Then find out your average frost date. You can find this in the Farmer’s Almanac, or a good local nursery, or farmers in the area. When you find this out, you will know the date at which – more or less – your winter crops should be matured. You can work backwards from that date, looking at a seed packet for the “dates to maturity.” If your seed packet doesn’t tell you, a good gardening book will (see references in Part 2).


For example, if your first frost date is October 15th, and you’re planting something that needs 30 days from seeding until maturity, you’ll want to plant it at around September 15th, maybe a bit later depending on how warm your fall days are. But having said that, don’t be afraid to experiment and see if you can get more out of your garden – if it’s September 15th and your seeds don’t mature for 60 days, try planting a few anyway – they’re just seeds! Alternatively, you can plant seedlings from a nursery and gain at least 2-3 weeks.


Your fall crops will also grow a bit faster if you mulch them and/or cover them using one of the season extensions discussed in Part 2.


Fall Harvest


Good Fall and Winter Crops


Root vegetables: carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas


Greens: kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, collards, Asian greens (eg, bok choy, mizuna), arugula, radicchio, lambsquarters, mesclun lettuces, orach, sorrel, endive


Brassicas: brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi


Herbs: oregano, marjoram, basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, fennel, and any perennial herb


Others: Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scallions, leeks, peas, celery, celeriac, bush beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, oats


Fruits: There also some fruits that are harvested in the winter, like apples, pears, persimmons, and citrus fruits. But you’ll need to plant these in late fall, winter, or early spring.


Summer Crops: Almost every summer crop can extend into November, if you live in a temperate climate. Tomatoes, tomatillos, winter squash, berries, beans are all good candidates for fall season extension.


Over-Wintering and Cover Crops: I’ll reserve these for another post. Over-wintering crops are ones that are planted in the fall, are then left well-mulched over the winter, and become your first crops of the early spring. Cover crops are those that protect the topsoil from rains and snow, and add nutrients to the soil – either through their roots or when dug into the soil in early spring.


Note: this is by no means a complete list – if you have other suggestions, please let everyone know in the comments. And do forgive my loose taxonomy.


Read On!


This discussion continues at Part 2: How To Extend the Season and Get the Most Out of Your Garden.


Also, I was thinking about creating a new challenge for growing a winter garden. However, I think we cover it pretty well with The Growing Challenge. So, if you’re thinking about growing a fall or winter garden and need some extra incentive, join us in The Growing Challenge!


Please Share Your Knowledge And Experiences


What else do you all grow in the fall and winter? What books and other resources do you use? What is your favorite method of season extension? Any of you who haven’t done this before, do you have specific questions about it?

Similar Posts:

48 comments to How To Grow A Four-Season Garden – Part 1

  • M,

    I am right there with you!
    I just bought Walla Walla onion starts (the ones from seed, not sets) at the local garden shop. If anything, we’ll have great green onions…although with plants as tasty as these it would be a shame not to let them mature.

    Also, don’t forget to plan now and put your Artichokes in the ground for next Summer’s harvest. Supposedly you can start them from seed now and then winter them out, which I am going to try. After all, like you said, it’s just seeds.

    I’m also growing something else this year…friendships…
    We placed a walkway from the road into our yard this week. We are also planting our front flowerbeds entirely in Kale, Swiss Chard, Artichokes and misc. herbs etc…
    One neighbor we really like was walking by with his granddaughter who is 3 months old. I said hello and we started chatting about my volunteer Swiss Chard plants (see my blog for pics…it’s kinda cool). This evolved into me showing him the real garden complete with a tasting of my sun warmed cherry tomatoes. It was a proud moment to hand him those gleaming little red orbs and say – oh yeah you can eat them without washing – we don’t use any chemicals at all.
    He is a Buddhist and a retired hippie, so his eyes just lit up when I said that. Part of my green commitment is to connect with my neighbors more…this is hard for me as I tend to be a bit reclusive at home.
    So far, so good…and I think the front flowerbed sharing garden will be a hit – as I told my neighbor that he could harvest from there anytime he would like.
    I can’t wait for your next installments. I am soooooooooo inspired to get my hands dirty. Yay.

  • Meg

    What a great post and fantastic advice, especially for new gardeners. I think one of the most satisfying things you can do as a gardener is successfully push the seasons. A lot of folks try this with various schemes for super-early tomatoes, but really if you do your research and learn a couple basic methods you can grow all sorts of stuff in most places. Even here in PA we were growing lettuce until late December and eating chard and some root veggies fresh year-round.

    We were lucky enough to catch an NPR program featuring Elliot Coleman (of Four Season Harvest fame) right after we started gardening. Listening to the piece about his giant movable hoophouses made us go, Huh! We mentioned this to my dad, who graciously stole a big roll of heavy-duty plastic from work for us, and we made mini hoophouses for some of our raised beds. We’ve had a lot of success with them through two winters, now, and they are also great for keeping the snow off peas and brassicas early in the spring.

  • Meg beat me to recommending Eliot Coleman’s excellent book. I based my hoophouse on his and a friend’s experiences. Mine was made of 20′ re-bar and six-mil plastic. If you bend each end into the ground, you get a hoop about 6′ high and 12′ wide. Six hoops spaced 4′ apart gives you a basic hoop house of 12×20. One final 20′ rebar is fastened to the peak of each hoop for stabilization. Make yours a full 20 feet long or as short as you want. The six-mil plastic is really only good for one growing season.

    On one end I used an old aluminum storm window fastened to a 2×4 frame. A few more 2x4s, some hinges, and another old storm window and I had a door for the other end. As I recall, Mr. Coleman let the dirt and snow hold down the plastic during the cold Maine winter. My experience (winter temps in KS can range from 10 degrees to nearly 60 – sometimes only days apart!) and lack of lasting snow, necessitated the creation of a 2×6 frame around the base of the frame. Also, I needed simple concrete footings for the re-bar so the constant freezing/thawing of the ground during winter wouldn’t loosen the frame. For my footings I used a #10 can (the large restaurant-sized food cans) and simple 1/2″ diameter pvc. Fill the can full of concrete and insert an 8″ piece of pvc (one end taped shut) into the concrete and let cure.

    Time and other commitments (read: children) whittled mine down to 12×12 until I finally gave it to friends on long-term loan. About 10 years ago, I think mine cost me around $100 to make. However, that might not include the additional customization of the footings and frame for the base. The storm windows were salvaged, as were some of the 2x4s.

    Salad greens were wonderful in February as was early broccoli! I wish I could find copies of the pictures of my hoop house. I apparently sent all of them to a friend in New Hampshire wanted to build one. Being pre-digital, I’ve lost the negatives. If I have copies, they’re probably in a box (lost) somewhere in the basement.

  • I remember first “meeting” you last year as the first frost hit your tomatoes, and you were able to get one last harvest.

    I love Northern California because right now is like our second spring…I can’t wait for this heatwave to pass so I can do plant cucumbers and a few other “summer veggies” as well as winter staples in the garden.

    Great post.

  • Thanks for the list- I am going to do my first array into winter gardening. I do not about kale- I am told it is one of the best things to plant in fall weather. BUt i have, Like the broccoli I just started- hav enever planted it and unlike broccoli I have never eaten it. I am just dumbfounded what to do with kale! I have plans to make a sunroom on the back porch to do some of my gardening. Although it will probably be more of a place for the cat to go air out.

  • I have this wicked Kale Risotto Recipe.
    I’ll hunt around for it and report back.

  • Well with one years Winter gardening under my belt all I can say is … go for it.

    There is nothing like being able to walk out into the garden and pick new stuff in the dead of winter.

    My musts for next year are definitely Broccoli and Cauliflower.. I am finding the mustard greens a bit of a hard sell in this house but they have been wonderfully productive so will just keep trawling recipes until I have a stash that we like.

    Kind Regards
    Belinda

  • No winter gardening? In California? I can believe it in Minnesota or someplace like that, but California? It really doesn’t get THAT cold. Just a few freezes in January/February. That’s why we’re the agriculture state.

    I will be sure to try winter gardening someday… someday…

  • Hi Melinda, sorry it’s taken a while for me to get back to you about pigeon peas but here I am.

    If you look at this post here:
    http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com/2008/06/winter-vegetable-garden.html
    you will see the pigeon peas still green in their shell. This is when the chooks like them the most. You can carry on and allow them to dry in their shells, still on the tree, and them make them into dahl or pea soup. You can cut back the foliage and use it for mulch and being a legume, they have that lovely nitrogen action in the soil that I’m sure you know about. Good luck love!

  • Great series Melinda! We’re definitely going to work on the four season garden this year… we’ll see how it works out!!

  • [...] Link: How To Grow A Four-Season Garden – Part 1 [...]

  • Seahorse

    Wow, this is so inspiring! How much land did you use?

  • Congrats on your 4 Season Garden! Looks like you had wonderful sucess – everything looks great!

  • I had a lot of success last year with greens (Chard, Mustards, Collards, lettuce) growing over winter. Some success with onions. My beets, radishes and carrots never did that well. But oohhhh the fava beans! Thanks for the reminder, Melinda.

  • My absolute favorite part of this great post is this – don’t you tell me I can’t do this! The other bestest part – your photos of the rainbow of carrots and the roasted vegetables. I told you last year – I love these.

    We are going to switch to cover crops as growing the soil is the biggest priority. I have 4 buckets of worm poo to spread around and the gak factor has pushed me towards other projects first. I also want to experiment with putting vinegar all over the place to balance all of the anaerobic activity of the composted soil. Guessing here.

    I am in southern California so, like Stephanie, I think the 4 season distinction is a little subtle. The cool summer did affect some of the vegetable favorites, but there are dozens of other foods we can learn a taste for now.

  • I’m glad you’re writing about this now – I could use the advice. I planted bush beans about a month ago, and hopefully they’ll bear before our first frost. Last weekend I planted two kinds of bok choi, swiss chard and some mixed greens, and they are just starting to poke up out of the soil. This weekend I’ll also start chamomile, chives, and parsley. For now my little seedlings are covered in a thin layer of straw, and the beans are mulched with a thicker bed of straw, but I’ll need to rig up some sort of shelter the more tender items from the 90 degree weather for now, then keep them warm as our weather gets cooler.

    I expect to plant buckwheat the favas after I pull up the tomatoes, cucumber and peppers – that would provide some good nutrients for the soil that would help build up our sandy planting bed. I’m also pondering building a small shelter that will keep our lettuce and other tender items from freezing in the winter so I might be able to squeak out another planting before the winter comes. I’m guessing this would be better in the ground than in our raised bed, as the ground may have a more consistent temperature? Whether I get to this may depend on whether I find a free or cheap storm window that I can use as a cover…otherwise, this may wait until next year.

  • Heather, Good point about the artichokes – I’ll have to continue the series with perennials and biennials to plant in the fall and winter!

    Lovely plants to grow in the flower bed! I love stories like this one… thanks for sharing it. Planting in the front yard does tend to draw neighbors in, which spreads the word about gardening and makes our communities stronger and happier. Neighborliness is one of the things I’m working on too.

    Meg, Ooh, great reminder that these things can be free to make!

    Kirk, It is sort of the book about 4 season gardening… I am hard-pressed to think of others! Thank you for sharing your specs for this – very helpful – and inspiring. I hope you have time in the future (read: when kids are well into school) when you can go back to it. It sounds like something you really loved!

    Katie, That’s right! I forgot about that. It was your blog that alerted me to the impending frost!! Sigh. I do miss the sun right about now. Our season extension here is going to be all about rain next year – even in summer!!

    Rob, Kale is great – different types are totally different in look, texture and taste. They’re very beautiful, too. Kale sauteed in a little oil and white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar for a sweeter taste, or roasted with other winter veggies, or mixed with risotto (waiting for Heather’s recipe!), or baked into a squash casserole… I’ll think about more things to do with it.

    Having said that, you probably only need one or two plants – we had 5 kale plants and 8 beets from which we harvested beet greens last year. None of them looked like we’d eaten anything by spring!

    Heather, Looking forward to it!

    Belinda, Nice to hear from someone who has just been through winter! I love the idea to just go for it! Mmmm. Mustard greens. They’re a bit spicy, which means that they’re not a hard sell here. ; )

    Stephanie, It’s just that what is “normal” is to plant a summer garden, and that’s it. Four season gardens are becoming more popular, but still, nurseries close up shop, and the last frost date is the date to finish gardening for most gardeners. It’s a shame, and that’s why we have to get the word out! Looking forward to your someday winter garden!

    Rhonda, Thank you! They look and sound fabulous – I love that they’re a tree! Hmmm…. will have to find a place for them….

    Guyz, Excellent – looking forward to visiting your winter garden.

    Seahorse, Good question. Most of the year, we confined ourselves to about 1,000 square feet. In the end, after adding some berries and garlic beds, we had closer to 1,500-1,800 square feet.

    BUT you can do this on much less land by growing biointensively. We just had so much land (1/2 acre), we didn’t need to constrain ourselves. Now, our garden is more like 200 square feet, and we’re still getting an awful lot from it.

    GB, You had beautiful fava beans! I’m surprised the beets didn’t do well – ours were the size of soccer balls! (Ok, kids soccer balls, but still.) And I will write about carrots in a later post – you’re not the only one who has had problems growing them. It’s too bad, too, because there is nothing like a home-grown carrot….

    Kate, : ) How do you produce the worm poo, btw? In a compost tea bin, or a worm bin, or …?? Curious, as we haven’t done this yet and need to do it.

    As far as the anaerobic issue – the best thing to do is mix it up a bit. Aerate it, to get some oxygen into it. (At our city compost dump they actually have underground fans that do this!) The Eliot Coleman broad fork is a great tool for this, but any pitch fork or digging fork will do.

    And yes, in So Cal the season distinction is a little irrelevant! You could grow tomatoes all year. I’ve see Australian blogs where pepper plants have been growing for years – they become trees! It’s the summers there that are harder – season extension becomes more about shade cloths and such, rather than frost blankets.

    Lori, Awesome that you’re doing all this – it’s incredibly fun to pick food in the fall and winter.

    A thought: you can start planting the buckwheat and favas before the tomatoes et al are entirely done – maybe a few weeks before you pull the summer crops. this way they will have shelter from the heat now, and will be starting to grow bigger as the summer crops die back.

    I would say the raised bed would be better for the last planting if you’re going to use a row cover, as the drainage is probably better, and you can control the moisture more (you can put a hoop row cover over the sides of the bed as well as the top). Also, you may have a little protection from slugs if that is an issue. And the ground in a raised bed will get warmer in the daytime.

    But if you build a cold frame, that would be much easier straight in the ground. You don’t need the window yet, but it would be easier to build the rest of the structure for it now, as it is a bit of a raised bed itself…. I’ll write about it in the next post.

  • Please continue to leave comments, suggestions, and thoughts!

  • monica

    Mmm: I’m getting hungry!

    Everyone that I have mentioned my winter garden to gives back an odd glance, but they can try some of my veggies when all they have to eat has sat on the truck for untold numbers of hours.

    People lived for a long time quite nicely before megastores arrived on the scene.

    Good luck and thanks again for the inspiration. I am turning green!!!!!
    YAHOO!

  • [...] Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told, says Melinda at one green generation. Ten Reasons To Grow A Four-Season Organic Garden [...]

  • This is our first year growing a 4 season garden even though we’ve had the Eliot Coleman book for sev’l years – we’ve had no time! Now that our child is a little older, we’ve been planning on this and this holiday weekend my husband has been working on building our little greenhouse and moving the fence out to our garden so we will have more room to grow and building a hoop house to go over the garden beds for this fall/winter. Everything has been planted so far with mainly winter greens, root veggies and some broccoli except the new beds that will be put in very soon once we expand the garden space. All very exciting for me.

    And Rob, Kale is one of my most favorite veggies and it’s filled with lots of minerals, protein, some vitamins and if you eat it marinated but not heated, it comes out almost like it’s been sauteed but still has the live enzymes left intact which is another health boost to consume and is very alkalizing to the body which prevents viruses/bacteria from taking hold.

    Here is a quick Marinated Kale (or other dark greens) Salad recipe:
    1 head Kale, cut into thin ribbons or smaller
    2.5 T extra virgin olive oil
    1.5 T lemon juice
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1.5 tsp. cayenne (optional)
    1 cup tomato, diced (optional)
    1 cup avocado, diced (optional)

    In a mixing bowl toss the Kale, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt together really mixing well. Place a plate that fits inside the bowl on top and a weight on that (I use a mason jar filled with water) and let it sit for a few hours to wilt the leaves. When it’s ready, add in the tomato and avocado and mix well and serve. Very delicious!

  • Melinda, This is a description of last year – and I have done it again.

    To answer your question, I have a wormery with the various levels of bins. The worms presumably move up to a higher level after they have digested all in one level and all that remains is their own poo.

    It doesn’t work like that – and yes, I have moved the stuff and added paper for bounce, for air pockets. Aaargh. I know it is because I ignore it and don’t fuss with it.

    I have signed up for a 6 week course on Master Composting, so this next year won’t be yet another repeat. I seriously think that I am doing much of this correctly. I believe that the biggest obstacle is that I don’t have a frame of reference for this – worms, decay, decomposition and nature’s cycle. My white, middle class urban/suburban sanitized and plastic-wrapped life gives me no examples. Anything remotely close to this process is treated with disgust – it is reviled.

    I am going to be blogging on this theme this week in an “Ick” post. The master composter class starts Sept. 11 – the day after I find out if I was selected or not for the city council environmental committee.

  • Nature Deva, YUM that sounds fabulous. I’ll be making some marinated kale this fall & winter!! Winter gardening is very satisfying – I suspect this winter you will become addicted to it. To have fresh, sweet veggies in the middle of winter… mmm.

    Kate, I have been wanting to become a Master Composter – either this year or next, I’m going to sign up. (I think it’s more my style than the Master Gardener training was!) You’re totally right – worms are considered ick. I am totally fascinated with them, though. I think the worms we added to our Geyserville garden were indispensable – I’m absolutely convinced they helped the garden drain properly during our long, cold rainy Geyserville fall and winter.

    Well, I appreciate any worm knowledge you pass on during and after your class!

  • Another Willamette Valley gardener here. Let’s see, last winter: beets, onions, chard, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, red cabbage. Even the celery lasted into February, with no effort towards protection. And this was what we’d call a hard winter. In other words, even when you’re not really trying, you can eat from home a lot.

    Since then we have been reading Coleman (and also the Nearings’ sweet little book about their Maine unheated greenhouse, back in the 70s). So we’re ready to try and get a little more serious.

    risa b

  • [...] those of you anxiously waiting for Part 2 of How to Grow A Four-Season Garden, I am writing it this weekend. I hear there are frost warnings in the Eastern US already, so cover [...]

  • [...] you missed How To Grow A Four-Season Garden – Part 1, please take a look at it first, as it contains important background [...]

  • [...] think. Plus it’s a great after-school project for the kids to help make. And by all means, grow a fall and winter garden, or help a friend grow theirs in exchange for some of the [...]

  • Great article, and I am so proud of you for not listening. People should often try to do things that others regard as impossible as that is how we move the human race forward. I do most of my gardening indoors and due to frequent travel only grow crops that develop fast and come to harvest quickly so I personally do a lot of things that many people regard as impossible. Some of those things that were unheard of by most people a few years back are becoming quite trendy now, though. Congratulations on your beautiful garden in gorgeous Geyserville.

  • [...] The equinox has passed and our new seasons are upon us. In the southern hemisphere, the spring is warning the earth, I’ve noticed the first plantings are sprouting in your gardens. In the northern hemisphere, fall is upon us, we’re covering our tomatoes and other summer crops to get that last little bit of harvest before our gardens give way to winter crops. [...]

  • [...] it yourself? Also while we all need food, starting a garden will mitigate what you have to buy – you can grow vegetables year round. Plus when you start that garden, don’t buy seedlings – grow them from seed, and then save [...]

  • Kaya

    Dag mensen,

    Ik vind het artikel zeer verrijkend, omdat ik net zelf ben begonnen met mijn eigen moestuin. Ik plaats een reactie, omdat ik het nogal moeilijk vond om te lezen.

    Je hebt het Nederlands (qua grammatica) een beetje vermengt met het Amerikaans ;-)
    Het leest dus niet makkelijk weg, maar nu heb ik in ieder geval meer informatie opgedaan over wat ik zoal kan planten.

    Groeten

  • This was a really inspiring post. I live in an apartment in the city and have been experimenting with container gardening. My neighbors from the city don’t care to understand gardening at all and my friends from the country keep telling me I can’t do it in the city. I figured there’s no harm in trying, I limited the money put into my experiment, but lately I’ve been doubting myself. This has reawakened my confidence. Thanks :)

  • [...] You can have fresh, local, organic produce all year long by planting a four-season garden – long past the day your local markets and farms close for the [...]

  • [...] the summer, fall, winter, and spring. (They need protection from high and low temperatures – see this post for more [...]

  • [...] them, but if your area is particularly cold you may have to bring your plant indoors, cover it in a cold frame, or dig, store, and then replant the roots in the [...]

  • I have enjoyed reading your posts so much. I live in North Florida and have a lot of blooms right now in my garden. In the winter I just put a sheet over my squash and tomatoes for the nighttime and then remove them during the day. Our summers are somewhat brutal, but I am now inspired to try to plant some lettuce in the edge of the woods where I have the blackberries and blueberries growing in the dapled light.
    Also, I am finding the garden does grow much for than food. Friendships also blooms and grow.

  • Great tips and I am so encouraged! I’ve wanted to have a four seasons garden, but I live in the mountains of CA. It may be June now, but your post is giving me inspiration so that I can plan now for a fall planting. Even growing summer crops here is a challenge. I just had to pull out my frost blankets this week to cover my beds as the night time temps were predicted to be around 32 degrees. Our nights are cool because of the high desert that is near by. I’m not giving up though!

  • [...] can continue to grow or store in the garden with often just a bit of protection.  Check out “How To Grow A Four-Season Garden” for many tips on how to do this [...]

  • green onions green onions

    We have several green onions we have not harvested yet this fall. Can they be left in the ground in raised beds over the winter? Thank you.

  • These are all the beautiful gardening web-log with all the beautiful tips and techniques and all the plantation and a vegetables and fruits gardening and all the favorite foods and recipes are all great.

  • James

    Excellent post! Very inspiring.

    How much land would one need to recreate this, and what were the costs?

  • [...] to plant, to give you tips for interplanting and succession planting, and to finally write “How To Grow A Four-Season Garden Part 3.” Plus I’ll write “How To Save Vegetable Seeds Part 2,” for those [...]

  • [...] are things you can do to protect hardy seedlings and plants from frost.  However, if you plant seeds too early your seeds and/or seedlings likely to rot from cold and [...]

  • joe

    I had a lot of success last year with greens (Chard, Mustards, Collards, lettuce) growing over winter. Some success with onions. My beets, radishes and carrots never did that well. But oohhhh the fava beans! Thanks for the reminder, Melinda.

  • [...] lastly, it’s fun, it tastes better, and gardening nourishes your soul. Source: http://1greengeneration.elementsintime.com/?p=284 Thanks to Barry Flanagan for the link. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); [...]

  • [...] So what  kind of vegetables fit this description - SALAD VEGETABLES. With experience and some research you can grow garden vegetables throughout the year but start with summer and summer [...]

  • Ashley from Geyserville

    I’m SOOOO glad to have found this post… We just moved to Geyserville a month ago, and I have been searching through information regarding Gardening in our area. We are big time gardeners, so I am very thankful you posted this and shared. Thank You for all the great information, it was very useful!

  • My fiancee lives in the US, in Upper New York state. She regularly laments the fact they really can’t garden all year round. Her Dad has the most amazing vegetable garden in the summer time, but by about October everything is done for another year.

    I am very fortunate to live in sunny Australia where even in winter we can harvest a full crop. Right now I have some beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, carrots, spring onions and lettuces growing. I’ll soon be putting in the autumn (fall) vegetables and that is getting me quite excited.

    Just hope these 38+ degree (95+ degrees farenheit) days don’t do too much damage!

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>