ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Extending The Growing Season

Updated on November 4, 2009
Heated Propagator
Heated Propagator
Home Made Cloche
Home Made Cloche
Cloche
Cloche
My Own Polytunnel
My Own Polytunnel

 

If you are serious about growing your own vegetables as a hobby, a necessity, to save money, or to provide your own high quality organic produce, your main adversary is the growing season.

 

Lack of heat and sunlight will prevent seeds from germinating in the early spring and also prevent plants from maturing in the autumn.

 

There are several ways around this problem and here are a few techniques which I employ, to ensure fresh produce for as long as possible throughout the year.

 

Propagators

 

When conditions are too cold to sow seeds outdoors the heated propagator is an essential tool. Used indoors, or in a suitable shed or outhouse with plenty of light, almost any seed can be germinated up to a month earlier than usual. Once large enough to handle, the seedlings can be transferred to pots in an unheated propagator or if you are lucky enough to own one, a glass house.

 

This both protects them from frosts and raises the temperature, tricking them into believing that it is later in the year than it really is.

 

Once the seedlings are mature enough to plant out, you can further protect them from the cold by using a cloche which works like a small glass house. These come in many shapes and sizes and can be easily made from old panes of glass, or clear plastic bottles with the bottoms removed and placed over each individual plant.

 

Glass Houses

 

To extend the growing season into the autumn you will need a suitable glass house or polytunnel. The best of all worlds is the glass house as it can be heated and becomes one large propagator for use at the beginning and end of the season, the only disadvantage being the initial cost.

 

A very cost effective compromise is a polytunnel, which are widely used by commercial growers. These are structures made from plastic sheeting stretched over metal hoops like a tent and can be erected very easily, without the need for any specialist building skills.

 

They are very versatile and allow you to plant straight into the soil or create your own raised beds. I personally prefer a mixture of both, allowing space for larger plants to be grown in the soil and the ability to adjust the soil conditions in the raised beds for exotics and succulents.

 

Whatever your preferences, by using these simple techniques, you can fool mother nature into yielding a plentiful supply of fresh food for much longer than she normally allows.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Your own polytunnel looks great! Wish we had room for one in our yard. My vegetable growing results last year were pretty dismal. Better luck with my herbs.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)