Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Add to My MSN

Four Season Garden Explained

1/7/2014 10:01:00 AM

Tags: four season garden, Ohio, Melodie Metje

January is the time of dreaming and planning for your spring garden.  All the seed companies begin sending out their catalogs for seeds and plants this month.   It is an exciting time for browsing the magazines and making the garden plan for the upcoming year!Cold season veggies

As you are planning for the upcoming garden season, think beyond just spring and summer vegetables.  Fall and winter are also available to extend fresh produce.  French and Italian gardeners have been using all four seasons for generations in their kitchen (potager) gardens.

Four Season Garden Explained Simply

You hear people talk about a four season garden.  This just means growing a garden that you can harvest from in all four season-spring, summer, fall and winter. 

Crops fall into 2 categories-cold season crops and warm season crops.  Cold season crops are those that prefer when temperatures are cool.  When warm temperatures hit (80’s), the cold crops “bolt” which is simply sending up a flower stalk to make seeds.

Warm season crops are those that abhor frost or getting their feet chilly.  Most of the warm season crops are killed by frost and won’t grow until the soil is nice and warm.  

As you can guess, cold season crops are grown in the spring and fall.  The really cold (and freeze) hardy ones are also grown in the winter garden.  Warm season crops are put out after all danger of frost is passed and the soil has warmed. 

Cold crops: arugula, broccoli, cabbage, celery, fennel, leek, lettuce, marjoram, onions, parsley, peas, summer savory, sorrel, spinach.

Warm season veggies

Warm season crops: basil, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash and beans.

So, when you go to plant in the spring, you will start with the cold season crops.  Once the danger of frost has passed, you can then add in your warm season crops.

At the height of summer, believe it or not, is when you should start sowing seeds for the fall and winter seasons.  You need to get your fall and winter veggies to full size by the first freeze.  With the shorter days, growth slows significantly between the end of November to the end of January in our Zone 6.

Many crops like spinach, kale, carrots, onions, thyme, sorrel, oregano, chives can be harvested all winter with just straw covering.  You can expand your selection to broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and chard among others by putting a hoop cover over your crops or using a mini greenhouse.



Related Content

Coösauke Kale

The process of saving seed for next year begins while the growing season is still going strong

Knitting on a Round Loom: My First Hat

Where I learn that all skills, includiing loom knitting, takes time and practice.

Choosing What to Grow in a Small Yard

With a small space, how do you choose what to grow? You can grow an amazing variety and amount of ve...

Chasing the Truth: Is Roundup Herbicide Making Minerals in Our Food Less Available to Us?

Plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber brings attention to concerns surrounding Monsanto’s Roundup herbicid...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.