6 Proven Strategies for Year-round Harvests

Harvest all year round

While there’s never any shortage of delicious fruits and vegetables to harvest during the main growing season, those quieter times of the year can prove a little more challenging. Here are a number of tricks and techniques that help to extend the growing season beyond what you’d normally expect.

 

Make the summer last a little bit longer: Mid-autumn is when the first frost appears marking the end of the growing season. But many crops, if given a little bit of protection, will carry on a little bit longer. Use row covers, tunnels and cold frames for additional warmth and shelter. Especially for summer salads, peppers, tomatoes and cucumber.

Shelter sun facing walls also have the effect of creating a warm microclimate.

 

Overwinter vegetables: There are a lot of vegetables that grow in the winter, you would be surprised how many!  Salads, winter lettuce and mustards, spinach and kale and the winter favourites such as carrots, parsnips, beets and leeks. They are perfect for the winter season.

 

Hungry gap: If you plan carefully there can be plenty to enjoy during lean time.  Especially when previous season’s crops are finished, but the ones for the current season aren’t ready yet. In order to avoid gaps, sow broccoli, cabbage or late season leeks in late summer, and they’ll stand over winter.

 

Make an early start: For vegetables that take longer, you could start them off indoors under grow lights, before moving them outside in a month or two. Onions, chard and peas may be sown into modules from late winter to transplant into beds from early spring.

 

Keep on sowing: Keep on sowing quick-maturing varieties little and often throughout spring and summer, to ensure a steady succession of harvest. Choose a mixture of varieties covering early, mid and late season harvesting.

 

Strategy: When the first crops of the growing season are done, sow or plant a succession crop straight away! Succession crops include many autumn and winter-maturing vegetables.

You can also have dedicated “nursery areas” in a greenhouse or cold frame, for you to raise crops from seed and have them ready to pant the moment a gap appears in the garden.

 

These are just a few tips and tricks to help you Harvest all year round. If you have any top tips that you can offer us let us know in the comments below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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