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    Vegetable Garden Season Extension

    Greenhouse for growing vegetables

    Vegetable garden season extension is a term used for growing vegetables outside of the natural growing season—that is during winter, early spring, or autumn spring when outdoor temperatures are too cold for most plants. To extend the season, plants must be protected by covers small or large. When soil and air temperatures fall below minimum […] More

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    Cloches and Hot Caps

    Cloche Glass

    Cloches and hot caps can be used to protect individual plants or a few plants at a time. A cloche or hot cap used at the beginning or end of the growing season when there are big swings in the daytime and nighttime temperature can add 3 to 4 weeks to the growing season. A […] More

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    Floating Row Covers: Plant Protection

    Floating row cover1

    Floating row covers are made of lightweight spun poly fabric and are laid loosely over plants. A floating row cover will protect plants from frost damage to 28°F. Row covers transmit up to 85 percent of available sunlight and are permeable to air and water. Sunlight and weather will weaken the fibers in spun poly […] More

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    Vegetable Garden Plant Hardiness

    Cabbage with frost

    Hardiness or cold-hardiness is a term used to denote a plant’s ability to withstand cold temperatures. Cold-hardiness commonly specifies the minimum temperature to which a plant can be exposed and still be able to resume growing. At the end of the growing season, tender and very tender vegetables must be protected from cold or they […] More

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    Snow Tolerant Vegetables

    Cabbage Under Snow 2

    Snow on the winter vegetable garden does not mean the end of harvest. Snow will insulate winter crops from freezing temperatures and protect them until harvest. A killing frost or freeze will do more damage to winter vegetables than snow. Carrots, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, chard, and head lettuce can be harvested from under […] More

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    How to Prepare a Winter Vegetable Garden

    Cabbage seedling and frost1

    Autumn and winter crops replace summer crops as days shorten and temperatures begin to drop. Root crops do best in cool weather as do most leafy crops. As warm-weather fruiting vegetables—tomatoes, peppers, and squashes—finish their run for the year remove them and prepare planting beds for autumn and winter crops–beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, kale, spinach, […] More

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    Cold Frame for Vegetables

    Coldframes1

    Use a cold frame to extend the growing season fall into early winter and late winter into spring and protect plants in summer and winter. Insulate the cold frame with sheet plastic or thick rigid urethane to protect plants in mid-winter; replace the cold frame lid with lath in summer to create a lath house. […] More

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    Winter Mulching

    Garlic sprouts in mulch2

    Winter mulching will protect vegetables and other garden beds from the impact of wind, rain, and snow and prevent the loss of soil nutrients. Mulch for winter can be straw, chopped leaves, aged compost, or a cover crop. Clearing the garden of debris and weeds and putting mulch in place before winter will make getting […] More

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    Fall Harvest Vegetable Varieties

    Harvest in cool season1

    Fall harvest crops are planted in mid- to late-summer.  These cool-season crops get a quick start from seed or seedling in warm summer soil and come to maturity in the cool days of autumn. Choose crop varieties with shorter days to harvest; some cabbage takes 90 days to harvest; other varieties are ready sooner. Choose varieties […] More