Can You Extend Your Growing Season in Your Own Backyard?
As we move towards Fall here in Minnesota, we see a lot of activities that drop off dramatically after Labor Day. From golf to lake and cabin visits to outdoor restaurant seating, as the weather cools, folks tend to move on to other activities. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a trend in vegetable gardening as well. You’re not alone if you too are wondering how to extend your growing season.
At Eco Garden Systems, we develop our unique growing method to help extend your growing season – the Soil Platform, Water Reservoir and Air Gap all contribute to keeping growing conditions more optimal even as the weather cools. This is great – but what about plants that are susceptible to cold air? There are a variety of ways to insulate young plants (one of our garden hacks is using half-gallon milk containers) but how do we replicate this when plants are mature and still growing?
If you have followed our Thursday’s with Mother journey this year, you will know that we created a solve for this that can be used in a variety of garden settings. We used ½” PVC pipe to create a dome (see image below) and will be cover this with plastic to “greenhouse” our garden later this year and our execution of this idea on our Original Garden (we started with a cover for birds and squirrels – but this will support plastic as well).
Another way to extend your garden’s performance is tomato specific. Many gardeners pull their tomato plants earlier than necessary and discard them. We shared some information last year in another of our “hacks” on how to keep tomatoes ripening – even after the plants get pulled! By hanging the plants upside down by their roots, remaining plant nutrients will flow into remaining fruit and continue to ripen the tomatoes. Once this is complete, then you would ripen remaining fruit like normal (in a bag with a banana or orange). Mother did this last year and had fresh tomatoes until January.
For smaller areas, you can create a Cold Frame that will also help extend and protect your plants. What do you do to keep your veggie garden performing? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post.