Where do you live and what is your approach? Is it overwintering existing plants, or is it planning for and planting seedlings for a year-round harvest?
Hi, I live in West Texas somewhere between the 33rd & 34th latitude. The last 2 years I've planted lettuces, spinach, radishes, onions, & carrots in the fall just in my regular garden. They did wonderfully all winter. This year I'm planning a coldframe or 2 & try more warm weather stuff. I'd like to have a garden year round. Planning & experimenting will be fun. Bev
I go outside into the garden all four seasons. During the winter it's Winter Sowing, and I sow seeds into flats and leave them out there for the winter. At the end of winter they start to sprout. As early spring comes round I transplant greens and my earliset flower seedlings, start the garden clean-up and get the compost heap active. Late Spring I am just about finished with months of transplanting and the greens and lettuces are mostly eaten. Summer is a time for making cuttings from prunings, doing bed maintainance, tomatoes and stringbeans, mulching to combat drought. Autumn brings about harvests, yanking out the spent annuals to make room for new perennial or biennial transplants, maybe make a new bed or two, and then winter comes along starting with Solstice Sow. The whole cycles is repeated over and over each year.
We live up here in the Catskill Mountains in NY. Last winter we had 3 feet of snow for the better part of the winter. We had put up a greehouse (14'x50') which preserved our sanity. It was the only dirt we saw for 4 months! We had planted in cold frames inside the green house in the fall and harvested greens, etc up until late Dec. Round about March everything started to sprout again and is just finishing up now. Since winter is typically a non-growing season in the north, it's the fourth season that really concerns me, considering the lack of available fresh produce in the supermarkets.
Trudi: being a former Long Islander, I wish I had known more about E.Coleman's approach to 4 season gardening when I lived there. The difference in climate/light,etc. makes LI ripe for the picking all winter long I think. Barb
I'm in Los Angeles, and trying to get myself organized to slip a handful of seeds into the garden every weekend all year. There's always something that will sprout and grow in the current weather. The only season that I don't have a handle on is summer: getting anything to sprout outdoors in the July/August heat is mostly all about water, and my timing sucks. But a tray of transplantables up at the house is always an option...
I'm hoping to grow tomatoes and peppers year-around by using my newly-built hoophouse. You never know what you can do until you try. I'm gonna give it a shot.
Living this far south, gardening in 4 seasons is a literal reality for me. A frost generally hits in January, but can usually be thwarted with some coverings for the tender plants.
Growing in the summer is the biggest challenge here, as the heat and humidity kill plants like crazy. Most people plant heavily in early February and again in September or so, getting two traditional garden seasons out of our climate.
I'm from zone 6/7, in Florida now for less than two years, and am still learning how to negotiate this bizarre new system.
There sure are some varied interpretations here! Can this forum be useful with so many different climactic needs?
I grow cold hardy veggies in a plastic covered tunnel in the garden all winter. We're just finishing the leftover lettuce and spinach right now. Planting is the easy part, harvesting can be tedious if you have several feet of snow on the ground.