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How to Create a Four Seasons Garden

Updated on May 21, 2013

The Gardener's Kitchen

Do you find your gardening season to be too short? Do you spend more time planning, thinking and dreaming about your garden than you actually spend gardening? Are there times when it seems that gardening season will never begin?

If you answered yes to all or any of these three questions then you are in the same boat as I am someone who loves to garden but lives where the gardening season is way too short to fully indulge that love.

There is hope and some good news. You do not have to wait until the last frost ahs gone before you begin. There are a few techniques you can use to lengthen our garden season; in fact depending upon where you live and what you can do you may find yourself gardening throughout the four seasons.

The ability to grow plants all year round or at least for 10 or 11 months of the year when you live in a cold climate is an exciting possibility. Imagine fresh food from your garden when the temperature sinks below freezing.

If you are eager to extend your growing seasons then I recommend that you buy or borrow, public libraries are very useful resources, Eliot Coleman’s the Winter Harvest Handbook Year-Round Vegetable Production Using deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses.

Coleman’s book is published by Chelsea Green Publishing.

Coleman has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming. These include growing vegetables in the field, in greenhouses, the rotational grazing of cattle and range poultry.

Coleman also wrote The New Organic Grower which is a must read for anyone who seriously want to grow their own food organically and the Winter Harvest Manual.

The Handbook provides concise and clear information on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting methods and for anyone seeking to sell what they grow, marketing tips.

The book contains all the information you need to extend yoru growing season and beat the between season blues that can eb frustrating as we watch the weather reports and see that the current below normal temperatures are forecast to last a few more days yet.

Take a moment to imagine having fresh food that you have grown yourself for supper on a cold mid-winter’s day and all you had to do was step out to your greenhouse and pick it.

Coleman’s advice is not only practical but possible so get reading and get growing.

4 seasons


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I have been giving serious thought to a small unheated greenhouse for the backyard but the big old maple tree makes locating it a problem. Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Nolimits Nana 8 years ago

    Thanks for another useful hub, Bob. I'll have to check out the books. Even though our growing season here on the West Coast is longer than most of Canada, I'd still like to extend it. I have had chard and kale throughout the winter, but haven't tried other plants... yet.