Tips For Vegetable Gardening In Winter

Just wanted to draw your attention to the benefits of winter vegetable gardening. Have you considered it? You should. There are many places around the globe that have very short growing seasons and must be adapted to produce vegetable garden crops under these circumstances. Nova Scotia is one of those locations. Here, writer and gardener Niki Jabbour shares some tips and tricks for getting your garden to produce even when most gardeners might pack it in for the season. Her article appears in HalifaxNewsNet.

Tips For Vegetable Gardening In Winter

With the arrival of autumn in just a few days, it’s officially time to start thinking about protecting fall, and even winter, vegetables and herbs. In our 2,000 square foot veggie garden, I rely on a handful of sneaky season extenders to stretch our harvest from the traditional May to September garden into a full year-round food factory. Yes, I said year-round! Even in the middle of January and February we can walk up to the garden and harvest about 30 different crops – from salad greens (spinach, Swiss chard, mache,

winter vegetable gardening

Vegetable gardening in winter can be done using a few easy techniques such as cold framing or using a cloche. Photo by Jonathan Eastland c/o Photos.Com.

mizuna, mustards, tatsoi, kale) to root crops (carrots, beets, parsnips, celery root) and even several stem crops (scallions, leeks, kohlrabi).

My secret is to grow the right vegetables at the right time and protect them with the right season extender. For example, I wouldn’t choose to grow heat loving vegetables like tomatoes in mid-winter, but rather cold tolerant crops like kale and spinach. Then, I pair them up with a protective device like a cold frame, cloche, mini hoop tunnel or even a thick layer of mulch.

Read Nikki’s other suggestions and tips here at halifaxnewsnet.ca:

Growing your crops by vegetable gardening in winter will greatly extend your garden’s output for the season. It will also enable you to do some valuable crop rotation since the warm weather varieties will necessarily differ in their nutrient requirements from those you plant for the cold. Choosing your crop varieties to be cold tolerant and then making an appropriate micro-climate for them using cold-frames and mulching can provide food throughout the winter months. Why not give it a try? You might just surprise yourself.

Please feel free to leave a comment or two below. Share this with a fellow gardener by clicking the like button.

Half the interest of the garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.     — Mrs. C. W. Earle

Power To The People: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening On Your Front Lawn

Now, I didn’t quite know how to approach this post about raised bed vegetable gardening. I was actually thinking of calling this something like ‘Raise your economic awareness with raised bed vegetable gardening‘, or something like that. I happen to very much agree with the writer’s observations regarding the current state of our economy and the intentions of the multinational corporations who have steered us all over a financial cliff. I do believe very strongly that these overly large corporations, both directly and indirectly, have decimated the world economy in their quest for more profits. This is not capitalism at all, but crony corporatism. As a direct result of these sustained practices, there has been a steady and unrelenting dismantling of the middle class in this country, sending many hurtling far down the economic ladder. The writer of the article I’m highlighting here, Nancy Oden, presents some very compelling reasons to become more self sufficient with regard to food production in these challenging economic times. She recommends putting readily available resources to work by turning your front lawn into a source of food for your family. Her article is excerpted from the Bangor Daily News.

Power To The People: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening On Your Front Lawn

All this talk about “economic recovery” is delusional. This economy is not going to “recover.” What we had is gone forever.

Economies around the world are being deliberately crashed by Wall Street, banks such as Goldman-Sachs and owners of large corporations. They’re working hard to destroy the gains workers have made over hundreds of years, so they can return us to near-feudal times when workers were completely at the mercy of owners.

Their object is the Holy Grail of the extremely wealthy and their corporations: cheap labor. Corporations and their bought-government are replacing local workers with cheap foreign labor at an accelerating pace. Even poor-paying jobs are now given to cheap foreign labor.

raised bed vegetable gardening

Raised bed vegetable gardening can be done at low cost almost anywhere. Photo by Kenneth Wiedemann c/o Photos.Com.

One cannot blame the laborers who come here to work, or who take formerly American jobs outsourced to their countries; they’re desperate people, just as the corporations want the rest of to be, so we’ll do anything and work for any pittance to survive.

There’s no morality involved; it’s all about the money and how much more corporations can pocket every quarter.

The market knows no right or wrong, only profits.

The situation is difficult to accept, but accept it we must since neither you, nor I, have the power to stop this downhill slide.

So what can we do instead? What are our resources? We have lots of land and lots of water. This suggests, of course, the growing of food.

We can grow food in our own yards so we’re not dependent on industrial food from far away. Our gardens do not need pesticide poisons, thus saving money and insuring our better health.

While working in our raised-bed garden (raised beds are the most efficient and easiest way to grow food), we are getting healthy exercise, thereby lowering our risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer and other ills associated with a couch-potato lifestyle.

Once we taste our homegrown food, and have saved thousands of dollars by growing even a small garden, then we can grow more next year so there’s enough to share or sell locally. We can expand to become small, organic (no-spray, if you prefer that term) farmers growing diverse crops for local consumption.

Read the original article here at bangordailynews.com:

There are many places you can easily and cheaply implement raised bed vegetable gardening. Look around your yard. If your neighborhood allows, put it on your front lawn. You’ll be growing your own food and making a political statement at the same time. I do believe that there will be fewer well paying jobs in the future, but this isn’t necessarily a cause for dread. It’s an opportunity for all of us to take back our economy from the ground up (sorry). An economy based on individual effort and service to our neighbors and our communities is really what capitalism is all about. Let’s get growing!

Let me know what you think about this by leaving a comment below. Share this with people you know by clicking the like button.

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables.  They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.     — Elizabeth Berry

Fall Vegetable Gardening: As Winter Approaches

Well, it’s October now, and before you know it another vegetable gardening season will come to a close as winter sets in. There are some crops that do tolerate a good touch of frost, but generally speaking, vegetables don’t grow in the snow for good reason. That said, many common garden vegetables can still be planted late in the season and harvested. Right now you should be making arrangements for what’s going to be harvested and when, as well as protecting what is still in the ground from sudden drops in temperature. This is especially of concern overnight when the below freezing cold can creep in on little cat feet and steal your hard work. Here is an article by Bunny Guinness in The Telegraph that enumerates some of the preparations she recommends that keep her garden going even into very cold weather.

Fall Vegetable Gardening: As Winter Approaches

Winter gardens are like chilly swimming pools, refreshing and invigorating once you have taken the plunge. I like to get out in the garden most weekends, relishing the crisper air and more energetic types of winter gardening.

vegetable gardening

Vegetable gardening in the cold is possible with the right crop selection and planning. Photo by Alain Turgeon c/o Photos.Com.

Keeping your vegetable beds brimful so you have an “outdoor larder” stocked for continual use works in many ways. Making sure the soil is always covered with plants helps stop nutrients being washed through the soil, and keeps the soil structure and organisms in good order.

You can grow edibles you cannot buy and, most important of all, having a wide range of vegetables and herbs means your menus become more diverse and biased in favour of greenery.

The winter vegetable garden needs a little help in the soil department. No green manures for me, though. I would rather have a productive crop and just add compost to top up organic matter. I add this whenever I change a crop and earth up and top-dress with it too.

Check your soil’s pH. The RHS is offering free soil testing of four samples (to everyone, not just members) till the end of October (see rhs.org.uk). Even on my alkaline (pH8) soil, the continual addition of compost increases the acidity, so adding lime (usually in winter) is necessary.

When your vegetable gardening season starts coming to a close, realize that there is still plenty of life left in your garden. With the proper planning, plant selection and timing, you can still get another round of produce out of it. Why not try some of Bunny’s suggestions for your own garden and see what you can harvest. You might surprise yourself.
Please leave a comment below. If you’re one of those late season vegetable gardeners like Bunny, share your experiences with us. You can also click the like button and share this idea with a fellow gardener.
The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.  —  Tom Robbins

Square Foot Vegetable Gardening: Smallest Footprint For The Biggest Reward

It’s nice to know that all of your backyard gardening efforts are going to pay off, but it’s doubly great when you are practicing square foot vegetable gardening techniques that minimize your impact on the planet. I’ve written before on the subject of square foot gardening, and vegetable gardening practices that incorporate these methods have the least negative impact on the environment while at the same time producing the greatest yields of vegetables and produce for the amount of soil used. I’m of the opinion that, just like fresh water, nutrient rich topsoil is a dwindling resource and must also be conserved and used wisely. Here is a very short article (with recipes – that’s always a bonus) written by Mel Bartholomew for the Sioux City Journal.com about square foot gardening and why we should be planting in that direction.

Square Foot Vegetable Gardening: Smallest Footprint For The Biggest Reward

There’s a spark in the eyes of square-foot gardeners when they explain how much food they

square foot vegetable gardening

Square foot vegetable gardening maximizes yields from soil and minimizes carbon footprint. Photo by Ablestock c/o Photos.Com.

harvest, how easy it is to start, and what they plan to grow next year. The chief zealot is Mel

Bartholomew, whose passion for the idea he developed 30 years ago is inspiring a new generation of backyard gardeners.

“With my engineer and efficiency training, I started making a list,” he recalls. “Why do we plant in single rows? Why is the next row 3 feet away? Why do we plant a whole pack of seeds? We will never eat that much. And if you plant everything at once, it comes to harvest all at once.”

A failed community garden experiment inspired Bartholomew to solve the tilling, spacing, harvest and weeding issues in traditional gardening. He built his first square-foot garden (still intact) on his Long Island property with squares instead of rows to minimize weed-prone areas; 48-inch square plots so anyone can reach across to work the interior squares; and a different plant in each 1-foot square for beauty and diversity.

That was 1981. Two books and a PBS television series later, square-foot gardening is being taken up by a new type of gardener, one concerned with food miles, carbon footprint, sustainability and food safety.

See the original post here at siouxcityjournal.com:

Try your own hand next season at square foot vegetable gardening to see how much produce you can realize from a tiny patch of soil. Just think of yourself as being a good steward of the valuable resources that have been placed under your care.

Please share your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment below. Click the like button to share this with someone you care about.

Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food, for wisdom and guidance, for all these are good, but don’t forget the potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                   —  John Tyler Pettee

Square Foot Container Vegetable Gardening: Just Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

With backyard space at a premium for many of you, square foot container vegetable gardening may be just the ticket. It’s actually quite amazing just how much produce you can produce from what seems like a very tiny area of soil. Yet, it’s the most efficient way of achieving the highest yields out of a limited space. This article about a family’s experiences with square foot gardening illustrates the many edible and inedible benefits they were able to achieve with their efforts. This article written by Krys Stefansky for HamptonRoads.com is both instructive and enlightening.

Square Foot Container Vegetable Gardening: Just Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

If Will and Katie Wyndham want additional privacy in the backyard, they can take seats behind their tomatoes.

square foot container vegetable gardening

Square foot container vegetable gardening provides the most produce for the least amount of garden space. Photo by Bonnie Ingersoll c/o Photos.Com.

The four plants Will put in this spring have grown to a hedge-like 10 feet high, lush with branches, leaves and fruit.

“I’ve never seen tomatoes this tall,” Will Wyndham said, still amazed at his success.

Nor has the Norfolk man seen strawberries with a yield as high, nor scarlet runner beans as prolific.

His secret? Following the instructions for an organic technique known as square-foot gardening in a book his wife spotted at the hardware store.

It’s Wyndham’s second summer as a square-foot gardener – and he’s a believer.

He started with a compost tumbler from Costco Wholesale.

“We put in eggshells, stuff from the kitchen: coffee grounds, tea, all that good stuff. I turn it about once a week. Then I follow the soil recipe in the book and mix the compost with peat and vermiculite,” Wyndham said.

He shoveled the soil into raised beds he constructed, also according to the instructions in the book, at his home off Azalea Garden Road. The method relies on 4-by-4-foot raised beds that Wyndham crafted of 8-inch-wide cedar boards. For the tomatoes’ extensive root system, he added a second tier to one bin to create a 16-inch-high soil bed.

The three raised beds are laid out in an L-shape in the center of his backyard in the middle of his lawn, just to the right of his daughter’s playhouse, out of the way of the grass that Brandy, the chocolate Lab, uses to stretch her legs. The vegetables receive optimum sunlight, about 8 to 10 hours each day.

Original article here at hamptonroads.com:

It’s truly amazing how much you can grow in a small area by practicing square foot container vegetable gardening techniques. Why not give it a go in a small section of your garden or even your patio? Try it and see how it works for you. You just might be surprised.

Please leave a comment below and if you’ve tried these techniques, share your experiences and anything you have learned along the way.

A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.  — Laurie Colwin

Best Tip To Grow Vegetables In Containers: Throw In The Kitchen Sink

When it comes time for you to grow vegetables in containers, gardener and author Michael Kelly has some advice for us all: Throw in the kitchen sink. That’s right. Sounds strange at first, but he’s talking about using unconventional yet still everyday items that will function perfectly well as vegetable gardening containers. Here Michael Kelly writes for the Independent.ie and has some sound, if not unconventional advice for would be container vegetable gardeners.

Best Tip To Grow Vegetables In Containers: Throw In The Kitchen Sink

I HAVE been pleasantly surprised with the success that I have had growing aubergines and peppers in containers and grow bags

grow vegetables in containers

Grow vegetables in containers that are unconventional. Photo by Hemera Technologies c/o Photos.Com.

this year. I have about 15-20 pepper plants in pots in the potting shed that are very productive — churning out bell and chilli peppers over the last two to three weeks.

For the first time ever for me, I’ve also had good aubergines — thanks to container growing. For the last few years, I’ve grown them in the ground in the polytunnel and I’ve never been rewarded with even a single aubergine (though the plant is attractive and produced lots of pretty flowers).

This year, however, I grew the aubergines in a grow bag in the potting shed and we’ve been enjoying beautiful sleek, black aubergines for a month now.

I’m blessed with plenty of space to grow here on the Home Farm, so I generally only grow in containers when I end up sowing far too many seeds in the spring. Rather than throw the excess plants out, it makes sense to make use of them by either (a) giving them away to fellow GIYers or (b) pot them up into containers.

They can then be moved to anywhere you have a bit of space.

If you are short on space, however, container growing can be a lifesaver — even a balcony or windowsill can become a productive GIY HQ. The good news is that with a little care most vegetables will grow well in containers.

In addition to the space-saving positives, there are a number of additional benefits to growing your food this way. For starters, they make an attractive addition to any garden. It’s also generally easier to get plants going in pots because they are not as vulnerable to pests and the elements as they are in the open ground. The great bane of the Irish grower — the slug (boo! hiss!) — is not as big a problem when growing in containers as it is in the soil.

Weeding is generally not a problem either, particularly when using bought compost. A container is, quite simply, a more controlled environment for a plant to grow in.

Read all of Michael’s tips and tricks here at independent.ie:

You can certainly grow vegetables in containers of almost any sort. You’re only limited by your own imagination and what you have available. See what you have lying about your yard or what’s available this weekend at your local garage sale. You’d probably surprise yourself at what you might think to bring home for that next new planting bed in the garden.

Please go ahead and share your inspirations by leaving a comment or two below. Click the like button to share your inspiration with a friend.

The day of fortune is like a harvest day, We must be busy when the corn is ripe.   —  Torquato Tasso

More Container Vegetable Gardening Tips And Tricks

When it comes to container vegetable gardening one of the best reasons to try it is to extend your growing season. If you get your late crops in on time but don’t want to worry about whether or not the first frost will wipe out your best efforts, you can always move the show indoors. That’s right! You can thumb your nose at Jack Frost and just move all of your plants indoors to finish up their growing. I mean, why should all of your efforts go to waste? It’s the best thing since climate control. This short article in MyWestTexas.Com provides some ideas for longer growing.

More Container Vegetable Gardening Tips And Tricks

An early frost can spell disaster for some plants in the fall vegetable garden. Fortunately, we can expect some advance notice of the

container vegetable gardening

Container vegetable gardening prevents frost damage late in the season by allowing plants to be moved indoors.Photo by FreezeFrameStudio c/o Photos.Com.

first frost. One way to be prepared to deal with an early frost is to grow your vegetables in containers. Containers can be relocated to a warm spot until the threat of frost has passed. Gardening in containers is more complicated than traditional gardening, but with careful attention to detail, you’ll be successful.

Let’s use tomatoes as our example. Very often, warm days follow the first frost of the season. This can help extend your growing season for a few more days; perhaps just long enough to allow your tomatoes to ripen on the plant and avoid searching out recipes for green tomatoes.

 By this time, you should be considering using transplants to achieve the greatest success before the first frost. Purchase young, vigorous tomato transplants from your nursery. Avoid tomatoes that have been too long in the nursery which you’ll recognize by their large and leggy appearance relative to their container. Also, steer away from tomatoes that appear wilted or diseased.
When it comes to some of the best ideas for container vegetable gardening, moving the show indoors has got to be at the top of the list. Why not try to plant some of your favorite vegetables in the late summer or early fall this year and get the best that nature has to offer when it turns cold outside (but where it’s still nice and warm inside).
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences. Click on the like button and share it with a friend.
A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.  —  Laurie Colwin

Grow Herbs on Your Balcony

Grow Herbs on Your Balcony

It’s easy and fun to grow herbs in a small space like a patio or balcony. When you grow herbs, remember that for the most part they are very hardy plant species and tend to grow where the conditions are pretty rough. They will do just fine in your vegetable garden, especially in between your other plantings, but they also grow well in less favorable settings. These are ideal plants for small spaces and also for raising in containers.

Grow Herbs You Enjoy In Your Cooking

First you need to decide which herbs you’d like to grow. Think about what herbs you like to use in your cooking. You can just grow them for their visual appeal, but why not get the most out of your efforts and be able to include garden fresh herbs in your cooking, too. Of course, some will die back during the winter if you leave them outside. Just remember to put a tag where they were growing so you’ll remember what was planted there next season.

Always Grow Herbs in the Proper Container

If you’re planting in small pots, choose terra cotta because it dries quickly and allows your plants to grow without getting overly wet. Herbs can tolerate having their soil dried out much better than being too soggy. If you decide to grow mint, remember to containerize it within the pot or bed, otherwise it will take over the area it’s planted in. With a minimum of effort, anyone can easily grow herbs almost anywhere.

How To Grow Corn In A Raised Bed Garden

You Can Grow Corn In A Raised Bed Garden

You can grow corn in many different ways, because there are so many different variations on how to grow vegetable crops in your garden. Onegrow corn normally doesn’t think about growing corn in a raised bed, but there’s no reason that you can’t grow corn by that method. If your space or soil conditions aren’t ideal, you can always modify them to suit your needs to grow corn, and raised bed gardening is one very simple way to do it. Going to a raised bed garden to grow corn gives you a great deal of control over your soil composition as well. Corn is what’s known as a heavy feeder which means that it needs a lot of nitrogen in the soil. Amending your soil with compost and blood meal gives you a very organic way to grow corn.

Use The Correct Spacing

If you decide to grow corn in a raised bed vegetable garden, have at least two rows next to each other and place them each about ten feet long so that your corn plants can efficiently pollinate each other via the wind. Place a single corn seed about an inch into the soil and 8-10 inches in from the edge of the raised bed, while keeping about one foot of space minimum between adjacent plantings. This will give your plants enough room to spread out as they grow. This is what you can do when space is at a premium, otherwise you could spread them out to between 1 to 3 feet between each plant if you were in an open field and planting them into the ground.

Use Enough Water and Fertilizer to Grow Corn in a Raised Bed

Water your seeds in very well and keep the soil moist but never wet over the succeeding weeks. Adding in some nitrogen from blood meal every two weeks will keep your corn plants properly nourished. Planting later in the season will help you avoid many common insect pests. Just make sure that if you plant 90-day corn (30 days to germinate plus 60 days to reach maturity) you can count on being able to harvest before the first frost of the fall season. Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, once you taste the sweetness of what you’ve harvested you’ll definitely want to grow corn again next season.