What kind of questions would you like to see addressed in the Four Seasons FAQ?
How 'bout these...
What are the best veggies (or fruits) that'll grow thru the winter?
Which ones will need some protection from occasional frosts?
When's the best time to plant winter crops?
Discuss the difference between protecting from cold and from wind and from excess rain (if I'd kept the rain off the cold wouldn't've mattered)
Make clear overwintering inside the house (as I must do my peppers) and outside in some fashion (did the LA lady grow the aubergine and tomato in her yard over winter?)
Address different climates- my central Texas and my England gardens have very different winters!
Dicussion on the use of cold frames
This is only my second year gardening and I have never planted any vegetables in the late summer, fall, and winter months. I think what would help me the most is a table listing what to plant in what seasons. (I'm sure there are many of these on the web, but it would be great to have it in this FAQ.)
Another questions would be: How to care for veggies in cold months?
Perhaps something about wintering over biennial veggies in order to collect their seeds the following Spring.
The most basic (as I just stumbled over here and I'm very curious): What does the term "Four Season Vegetable Gardening" mean?
I guess I could hypothesize, but, for example, are you saying I can grow veggies when I have 4 feet of snow outside?
I'm with Jennifer - there should be some distinction between over-wintering in snow and leaving stuff to grow in the garden all year (which is where my peppers and eggplants do live). A lot of us, Coastal California, Texas, Florida, Australia, some parts of England, etc, are blessed with mild winters that resemble spring to hard spring in other locals, and so can literally grow year round. Our issues are learning to tell the difference between hot weather and "cold" weather crops - for instance, grwleye, who tried to do endive as a winter crop when it's really just chicory and likes heat, same mistake I made to start with - and getting the timing right. For instance, our neighbors are experimenting with starting tomatoes in September for production in April/May/June (too hot for em in July and August, but if we can overwinter, they'll get good roots and be ready to go when the weather warms up...it's a theory).
But our issues are different than the winter growing people who want to talk about using the snow to insulate the carrots and kale and so on.
Should there be two separate forums?
Oh please, please, address the question, "what is a hoophouse."
That in the colder areas one "must" sow seeds in time for plants to mature before cold weather sets in. The cold makes the plants stop growing but will hold for harvest through the winter if protected by man or snow.
Carol and other "mild winter"locations... When this forum was being set up, its primary direction was for people who have winters/snow and like Elliot Coleman, wish to extend their seasons with row covers and so on. I even avoided this area at first thinking Californians wouldn't be welcomed. :) After all, we have the "California" forum to discuss winter growing issues (which is where its been done in the past.)
But I think as long as we're polite, we can certainly come here without any problems. I don't think there is enough traffic to really need a whole other mild winter forum. In winter, the California forum at least naturally turns to this topic during the cool months, and that's what most posts discuss. You'll even find a bunch of them over on the veggie forum since everyone stuck in snow isn't saying much except for discussing seed catalogs. :)
Just my thoughts on the subject...
As for questions to address in the FAQ: I think having a reference list of websites and books which specialize in extended season gardening would be good. If that's put on another topic, we could all suggest what we know of to help out. Certainly Elliot Coleman and Jeff Ball go into various season extension techniques in their books.
Sigh. But over there they talk about shrubbery, and things that just aren't edible!?!!
So, I'll politely lurk. Even when the topic is snow, there's still tidbits those of us "blessed" with garden chores all year long can pick up.
But I would still like to add my applause for a list of plants by temperature. I have a list I grabbed off the web that gives me minmum hours of light tolerated and what thrives for many common vegetables. It would be great to see a similar list of minimum temperatures for sprouting, growth, and fruiting...
1. How to plan my "succession" planting so that there's never a space going empty. Eg, when I harvest my onions and garlic in summer / July, what should I plant there? And what should I NOT plant in that spot?
2. What can I grow in winter in a cold frame? When do such plants (eg early salads) need to be "covered" and when can I stop covering them?
Hi Carol-could you e-mail me the listyou have for min hrs of light needed please Thanks. Our weather pattern is slowly changing up here on Southern Vancouver Island.
Here's the web version for everyone. Came originally from "Sylvia's Charts for Shade Gardening," which seem to have disappeared from the web. I never did find out who Sylvia was. Anyone?
These vegetables will thrive in 4-5 hours of sun:
Amaranth;Arugula;Bamboo (for shoots, check variety);Beans, Broad/Fava;Beets;BuckÂs Horn Plantain;Burdock;Cabbage, Common and Ornamental;Cabbage, ChineseÂHeaded and Loose-Headed ;Celeriac;Celery ;Celtuce;Chard;Chicories;Chickweed;Cinnamon Vine/Chinese Yam;Collards;Corn Salad;Peppergrass, Upland, and Watercress ;Endive, Escarole ;Fennel, Florence;Chrysanthemum, Garland ;Good King Henry;Groundnut;Jerusalem Artichokes;Kale, Common and Ornamental;Komatsuna;LambÂs Quarters;Lettuce ;Malabar Spinach;Mallow;Mibuna;Milk Thistle;MinerÂs Lettuce;Mizuna;Nam Fong, Red Giant India);Nettles, Stinging;New Zealand Spinach;Onions ;Orach;Pak Choi and Flowering Pak Choi;Peas/Pea Shoots;Potatoes;Purslane;Radish, Spring;Rape;ShepherdÂs Purse;Skirret;Sorrel, Garden;Sow-Thistle;Spinach, Common and Oriental;Spinach (Perpetual) Beets;Turnip and Turnip Greens;Vitamin Green;
These will only tolerate 4-5 hours of sun:
Artichoke;Asparagus;Beans, Runner ;Beans, Snap (some cultivars);Broccoli, common, Romanesco, and Sprouting ;Carrots;Cauliflower ;Chinese Kale/Chinese Broccoli;Cowpeas;Cucumbers;Dandelion;Hamburg Parsley;Hops;Kohlrabi;Leek;Parsnips;Peppers, Ornamental;Rutabaga;Salsify/Scorzonera;Samphire;Seakale;Squash, Summer ;
These vegetables will thrive in 2-3 hours of sun:
Peppergrass, Upland, and Watercress ;in the form of furled "fiddlehead" fronds;Nettles, Stinging;Sorrel, Garden;Sow-Thistle;Spinach, Common and Oriental;Spinach (Perpetual) Beets
These will tolerate 2-3 hours of sun:
Amaranth;Arugula;Burdock;Cabbage, ChineseÂHeaded and Loose-Headed ;Endive, Escarole ;Chrysanthemum, Garland ;Kale, Common and Ornamental;Lettuce ;Malabar Spinach;Mallow;Milk Thistle;MinerÂs Lettuce;Mizuna;Nam Fong, Red Giant India);New Zealand Spinach;Pak Choi and Flowering Pak Choi;Peas/Pea Shoots;Rape;Vitamin Green;
There's nothing on the list that thrives on 0-1 hours of sun, except stinging nettle.
But these few will tolerate 0-1 hours of sun:
Burdock;Chicories;Peppergrass, Upland, and Watercress ;Endive, Escarole ;in the form of furled "fiddlehead" fronds;Kale, Common and Ornamental;Lettuce ;Sorrel, Garden;Sow-Thistle;