Day-length Question

Magret(z5OH)August 4, 2004

I've been a GardenWeb member for a while and mostly have grown roses, perennials, herbs and annuals while dabbling with some vegetables and fruits. I will soon be moving to zone 7a where I plan to do much, much more than dabble especially in the fruit and vegetable categories. I've read where people use hoophouses and other structures to extend their crops well into, and even all the way through, winter.

My question is how much day-length affects these efforts. Do I need to plan on providing supplement light? To narrow it down, I'm going to start with carrots, lettuces and spinach. I think that's all I can handle to begin with!

I look forward to visiting here often and learning as much as possible.

Thank you,


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You've probably seen or heard it mentioned, but if not, an
excellent resource on the subject is Elliot Coleman's book
Four Season Harvest..He shows how to harvest and grow crops
through his very cold Maine winters using a hoophouse com-
bined with floating row covers and coldframes..If your mov-
ing to zone 7 you'll have even more options and success.
He (Elliot Coleman) uses no supplemental heating or lighting.
Good luck!!


    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 9:52PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Fruiting veggies need more daylength than root or leaf crops.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2004 at 6:22PM
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Yeah, and they probably need more heat also.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2004 at 7:23PM
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Northern part's of the US are actually at about the same
lattitude as parts of balmy southern France. We get the same
amount of sunshine but colder temps.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2004 at 8:03PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

And if you read Elliott Coleman's book, you'll learn that you need to get the plants in good growth before daylength really gets short. Then in the hoophouse, they just stay alive, without growing much more over the winter, but are still fresh for harvest.

But for early spring growing (March 21= September 21 for daylength), if you start plants indoors with supplemental light, then put them outside with a hoophouse or coldframe to warm up soil and air,they will take off quickly.

BTW, parsley, cilantro, greens (lettuce or kale) can survive outside with no protection till Thanksgiving or beyond in z7a. Especially if in a south-facing area, with rocks or brick to hold heat.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2004 at 2:01PM
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