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Fall/Winter Planting Season...Advice and Experiences Welcome!

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posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 10:26 AM
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Happy Friday All!

After a somewhat successful summer growing vegetables in two 3x3 raised garden beds in the back yard of my home in the US's northeast corridor, I've stocked up on several new seeds from heirloomseeds.com, and I'm planning to sow them this weekend:

arugula
parisian 4-season lettuce
frisee
broccoli rabe
romanesco
carrots
parsnips
purple kale
swiss chard
collard greens
mustard greens
spinach

I'd like to hear about anyone's experiences with growing winter vegetables, covering topics like:
Were they grown outdoors or indoors? (I realize most would be outdoor, but would love to hear about indoor opportunities)
Were coverings used for certain vegetables?
Were certain soil amendments found to be helpful?
Did you find some vegetables best left to overwinter and harvest during springtime?
How critical was direct sunlight, which can be at a minimum for some of us during late fall and winter?

This is a great opportunity to share all of our experiences in growing without that hot summer sun. This is my first time with a fall/winter garden, and I know the only thing we gardeners appreciate more than freshly picked foods we grew ourselves is sharing and passing our knowledge for others to become more informed and possibly inspired to try it for the first time! This is definitely the time of year to purchase a raised bed at a deep discount if getting started sounds good.

Mods, please feel free to move this post to a different forum - I've seen gardening posts in this one before but I'm not sure if another forum would be more appropriate.


Peace and chocolate...




posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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I need a smiley taking notes.
Very interested in the topic of gardening in general.
I hope to see many replies as I'm very curious how people make this work.
S/f for you.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by SangriaRed
I need a smiley taking notes.
Very interested in the topic of gardening in general.
I hope to see many replies as I'm very curious how people make this work.
S/f for you.


There was a post on gardening a while back (I'm sure you can find it in the search) that was about summer gardening, which I found immensely helpful for gardening in the limited space of a raised bed. Hopefully our experienced gardeners will chime in and share what they know about winter gardening.

...and let me know how finding that smiley taking notes works out for you. I really need to make one drinking some whiskey to express my frustration about some topics on this site.

edit on 9/2/2011 by chasingbrahman because:



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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youtu.be...


one word... hoophouses
or is that two word's????
anyway go check this out...
How to build a PCV Hoophouse

Edit to add... the nice thing about a hoophouse... is you can set part of it aside as winter shelter for your livestock chickens esp... keeps them all safe and snug... as far as growing... not so much... once the light levels drop your done... unless you augment with grow lights
edit on 2-9-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by chasingbrahman
 


what would you like to know? I have a 1500sqr ft garden down here in the south. Im getting ready now for my fall garden. I can tell you with mustard and turnip greens they are best tasting after a good frost. Carrots will produce better in sandy soil. Let me know if you have any certain questions ill help as much as i can.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by msboy
reply to post by chasingbrahman
 


what would you like to know? I have a 1500sqr ft garden down here in the south. Im getting ready now for my fall garden. I can tell you with mustard and turnip greens they are best tasting after a good frost. Carrots will produce better in sandy soil. Let me know if you have any certain questions ill help as much as i can.


Carrots in sandy soil, 'eh? That explains the way my summer carrots turned out (think slightly overgrown pencil erasers). I'm planting two carrot varieties, and now I'm going to add a step to sowing these by making some changes to their soil. Now that you mention this, it kind of all makes sense since they may have been "packed" in the denser soil - thank you!



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by chasingbrahman

Originally posted by SangriaRed
I need a smiley taking notes.
Very interested in the topic of gardening in general.
I hope to see many replies as I'm very curious how people make this work.
S/f for you.


There was a post on gardening a while back (I'm sure you can find it in the search) that was about summer gardening, which I found immensely helpful for gardening in the limited space of a raised bed. Hopefully our experienced gardeners will chime in and share what they know about winter gardening.

...and let me know how finding that smiley taking notes works out for you. I really need to make one drinking some whiskey to express my frustration about some topics on this site.

edit on 9/2/2011 by chasingbrahman because:



Hm, Whiskey....I have a friend who has a forum that has smileys toasting with beer.

But whiskey, nope.
I'll keep ya posted


I'll do a search a bit later for that discussion. Sounds like a good one!



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare
youtu.be...


one word... hoophouses
or is that two word's????
anyway go check this out...
How to build a PCV Hoophouse

Edit to add... the nice thing about a hoophouse... is you can set part of it aside as winter shelter for your livestock chickens esp... keeps them all safe and snug... as far as growing... not so much... once the light levels drop your done... unless you augment with grow lights
edit on 2-9-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)


Awesome idea - I had priced some of these and thought for that price, I could buy my vegetables at the store for two winters. PVC may be humankind's strongest contribution yet. Being stuck in the city, and asked what I'd like for my birthday, I answer with "a buyer for my house, rural property and chickens". I kind of fancy myself an egg connoisseur.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 01:34 PM
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OP, I noticed you said you've stocked up on seeds from heirloomseeds.com.

Just as a note and for all of the 'minimal survivalists' out there, there are actually a few programs that offer entirely free vegetable seeds. It's part of a 'keep everyone in America from going hungry' program. Don't worry you don't need proof of hardship, unemployment records, or anything like that. And you won't be taking away from the needy either, with seeds there are more than enough to go around...you just need to know how to grow them. These are sponsored by farming associations and perhaps some non-profit orgs. You mail them an address, they mail you seeds (or seeds to a distribution center where you pick up).

Thought this may be helpful to some, especially with the price of fresh produce these days. You just cant beat that fresh out of the ground, home-grown taste and satisfaction.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by Ajax
 


Hello Ajax


Would it be possible for you to post the names(s) of organizations who share seeds? I buy from eonseeds.com
Beautiful organic seeds with an amazing variety and diversity. And a bit pricey for some. For $10.00 you can get a "Starter" packet that rocks.

I live in Washington state and the past two years,my tomato growing has fallen off dramatically. I have two green thumbs so I know it's nothing I have or haven't done. This year,I started earlier,graduated plants to bigger pots,hardened them off etc before earthing them,they had lush foliage and lots of blossoms when I put them to ground in late June,and now they are small gangly plants with very few slow to ripen fruits. Not a happy gardener when it comes to tomatoes in the Great Northwest these days.

At any rate,if you could give us a bit more info on the free seed program,I'd be extremely grateful.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by Ajax
 


Excellent information Ajax.


I chose heirloomseeds.com because they have a family member who is very ill with cancer (I called after seeing a disclaimer on their site indicating that due to a severe family illness, they could not guarantee shipment in less than two weeks, and they clarified the situation when I called). Being that their service is most local to my area - the only one I could find in my state - I wanted to support them. I know it won't save the day for them financially, but I'd hate to need them one day and realize they'd sunk during this challenging time, and I hadn't even given them my business. Their seeds always sprout (I bought from them for my summer garden) and they always send free seeds which is better than Nutella.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


I like the video very much. Thank you.


My husband and I build cold frames using heavy clear plastic sheeting. It insulates and keeps the wind off while letting in the sunlight. They are light weight and easy to move for warmer days when you want your plants to get the air and light. I just move the frame off in the morning and put it back over the plants in the evening. They are like mini green houses. Fun project too.

I think I'm going to get my fall greens planted over the long week-end.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by Qouth The Raven
 


I had considered using my leftover window sheeting (clear plastic) as the covering for the hoops in order to maximize sunlight and heat. Since I have a fenced-in, teeny-weeny backyard, I'm hoping the plastic won't prove to be too aerodynamic.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 03:42 PM
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chasingbrahman: Very noble and kind of you to order seeds from them during difficult times.

Qouth The Raven: Let me start a new thread about the topic of free seeds, I don't want to hijack this thread to go off on a tangent!



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by chasingbrahman
 


It really depends what you want out of your garden and how much effort you are willing to put in. Obviously summer is easy going. The further south you are, for out door gardening anyway, winter gardening gets more productive. Sorry, not too much grows in Northern Minnesota in January. But in Alabama? Now you have some options.

I like the idea of providing some protection for the plants. That will get you some more distance into the cold weather. A longer growing period provides a wider variety of things you can grow. Stay away from the tropical/sub-tropical lineages such as tomatoes and peppers. I saw you mentioned Kale. That is a very hardy plant, shrugs off the cold better than most, and tastes pretty good too. Experiment with different varieties of leafys (spinach, lettuces, greens, etc) to see what works well in your soil and weather conditions.

Your first year will always be more of trial and error than robust success. Anyway, try scouting these for some tips which might work for you:

www.humeseeds.com...

www.coldclimategardening.com...

www.savvygardener.com...



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by Ajax
 


Hey I'm not totally dedicating this thread with anything in particular about gardening in mind


Won't bother me a bit if some seed information is started - heck, I think I started it!



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by ABNARTY
 


I agree, having just finished my first summer vegetable garden. I had been fortunate enough to grow up with land we farmed during summer, but raised garden beds in the city are quite different from that. I learned alot, and I expect more of the same during the fall and early winter.



posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by chasingbrahman
reply to post by Qouth The Raven
 


I had considered using my leftover window sheeting (clear plastic) as the covering for the hoops in order to maximize sunlight and heat. Since I have a fenced-in, teeny-weeny backyard, I'm hoping the plastic won't prove to be too aerodynamic.


As long as you use a thicker mil and create a way to keep it weighted when adverse weather systems move in,you should have no problems at all..of course gale force Winter winds can test even the sturdiest coverings.


The one really important thing to know is that on sunny warmer days,the temp and humidity under the plastic etc. will be greater,causing condensation,and can 'burn' tender leaves.Keep your eye out for excess yellowing. Be sure you can ventilate easily,and allow adequate drainage as well..the evaporation rate is much slower in cold/cooler months so have a care not to over water or water too often. Up here,winter's heart is deep,so any gardening I do will be indoors in containers. I wish I had a green house or heated beds,but alas. So it's Fall and early Spring for me,with Summer being the epitome of abundant growth. It's going to be a trial and error thing getting started,but in a couple of years you'll be a pro.


I grow vegetables,herbs and flowers,and late Fall I begin bringing things in..There are plants of every variety and purpose all over our house. They freshen the indoor air,bring light and life to our environment and really help me Winter over. I have a tough time in Winters as I am a lover of nature and crave fresh air and sunlight and working bare foot alongside the bees,ants,spiders and butterflies out of doors. Having my plants Winter over with me keeps me sane and sees me thru until the sun returns.

I wonder,if we built a bigger cold frame structure this Fall,I might use it as an impromptu green house..Simple wooden frame,heavy mil plastic and straw to insulate. Hmmm..I think I'll give it a go this year!






posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by Ajax
 


Ok Ajax


Please let us know how to find it,when you do.



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