Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Growing vegetables year-round

Vegetables are on my mind.  It's seed catalog time, of course, and I'm trying to make sure I have enough (ha!) to give away for direct sowing and transplants of the right sort, as well as for my own gardens.

But, it's interesting as I update my 3-class program about year-round vegetable gardening that I'm coming up with information about folks that are doing this in much more extreme climates. 

It shouldn't be surprising -- one of my heroes is Elliot Coleman of Four-Season Harvest (and other books); he and his spouse Barbara Damrosch run a market garden (Four-Season Farm) in coastal Maine.

But it's remarkable about how many people have been extending the seasons in various ways for decades (centuries if you count Parisian market gardeners) and probably longer if I had time to learn about Roman vegetable growing practices.

Cold frames at West Dean, UK
It's fascinating to learn about the different levels of frost and freeze (important for overwintering vegetables, to be sure) and what levels of protection might be required.


  1. Great presentation, Lisa. And that lovely blue flower reminded me that I have some borage seed I should put to good use in the new bed we're starting this spring.

    Our farmers markets are still going although storage vegies are in the majority now with temps below zero and snow piled high. But I am amazed at how long they are extending growing.

    Have you tried the heaviest Agribon row cover offered by Peaceful Valley? I found it helped me keep a few things going in SC in January (not here!)

  2. Glad you enjoyed the presentation -- I am having a lot of fun promoting year-round vegetables.

    I haven't used row covers much myself (I've been afraid they'd be way too tempting for play, for first Mocha, and now Woody), so I'm opting for alternatives at the moment.

    I'd like to construct some simple frames that I can attach materials to -- much less inviting to pull around the garden (that is, for a dog).

  3. This is my latest obsession as well, as we've shared notes on before. I have the Coleman book, but today I ordered Niki Jabbour's new book (She gardens in a climate as cold as Coleman and Damrosch (love her writing btw) and blogs at
    I am slowly realizing all my luck this winter is due to the freak warm winter, so I wonder what next winter will bring.


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