A. Q. I’m feeling as if this is a really good year for talking “offseason” edible gardens, because many of us are experiencing—as the world is experiencing—unfamiliar or harsh conditions in the usual “growing season.” I’ve been extra-hot, extra-dry, and sometimes I just couldn’t  coax certain second sowings to germinate and thrive. They’ll get burned, or frozen from the cold damage. Growing up, our vegetable garden was a May to September garden with most of the harvest enjoyed in August and early September. By mid-March that stuff is ready to harvest. Niki Jabbour - The Year Round Veggie Gardener A blog about my adventures as a professional garden writer, radio show host and obsessive veggie gardener! Now, it’s all about growing the right crops in the right season and pairing them with the right season extenders. You do have to keep them clean, yes. For cold frames, I generally stick to things that are more compact. A. Q. I love that your “Year-Round” book starts with the sentence, “It all started with a row cover.” [Laughter.] A. Plant them densely, keep them watered, and you’ll be harvesting in about three weeks. Q. I told a friend of mine who’s an organic seed farmer that I really wanted to grow pea shoots like he does, sowing them really thickly. Niki Jabbour, author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, has collected an impressive series of vegetable garden designs from 72 (73 if you count her own design) renowned gardeners around the USA and Canada. I have cabbage and broccoli in one bed and am hardening off some other seedlings. And it’s upped my garden game, I think. We had to bring the contractor back in to help us build the beds, so the cost did go up a little bit. And she raises fresh vegetables all year long, so she knows it can be done. I think I read about it in one of Eliot Coleman’s books many years ago. Discover easy ways to keep your winter vegetable garden growing strong—and savor a long harvest. The beds look so much easier for a bad back & a new hip. The easiest way to start stretching your season is with mulch. Q. 'horticultural how-to and woo-woo' | margaret roach, head gardener. Q. Didn't plant those tomatoes? Niki Jabbour - The Year Round Veggie Gardener A blog about my adventures as a professional garden writer, radio show host and obsessive veggie gardener! The miners out there would eat it, so it has been eaten for many years. Even now in the garden I am using shade cloth. Some years we say we have a “good year” because the weather was good, and some years we say we have a ”good year” because we were organized. The first few years I did this, I had no idea what I was doing. Garden expert Niki Jabbour coming to Phipps Written by Doug Oster on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 11:01 am . Q. That happens every couple of decades. I can tell you to grow carrots, but you might be like, “I’m not that fond of carrots.” You should pick what you like to eat. The other thing I saw a picture of in your book was flats of pea shoots that you snip with a scissor. In Zone 6, get plants in the ground in late September. Winter Gardener’s Clock- When should I start a winter garden? Niki sounds like one smart, busy cookie. With a few steps and some planning, you can enjoy garden fresh vegetables all winter. You don’t want things touching the top glass or plastic. Purchases from Amazon affiliate links yield a small commission.). Is it set into the ground? Niki writes for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Garden Making and Birds & Blooms. Get our best gardening advice and outdoor ideas delivered straight to your inbox. This is absolutely fascinating. Want to plan your most ecologically minded garden cleanup ever, and understand the consequences of each potential action you can take—including next spring? A. It’s funny, my husband is obsessed with arugula; it’s one of his favorite salad greens. Grab your stock pot! I always put my light stand away, and I think, “How silly am I?” [Laughter.]. Amazingly they all came up and gave us a delicious extension into late October – when we finally had a bad frost. We were ready to build, we had all the hemlock delivered. And then I use cold frames, which are like magic boxes that extend your season very easily and efficiently, and make winter harvesting easy, which is nice. Thank you for your wonderful help in the garden! Save money and grow food even when it's cold outside by growing your own fresh crop of winter veggies. A. If I have some that’s reseeded in the garden, it’s perfectly fine once the snow retreats in spring. How deep, wide, tall? Oct 10, 2012 - A blog about my adventures as a professional garden writer, radio show host and obsessive veggie gardener! So 3 by 6 is the perfect size cold frame. It’s also very easy to build a mini hoop tunnel from 1/2-inch diameter PVC conduit. My first book, the award-winning, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, was published in 2012 and Groundbreaking Food Gardens hit shelves in … I had been going around for a year and half about all these ways I wanted to change my garden, and then we decided to just do it. Niki’s vegetable garden in Halifax just got a facelift to become even more productive. And you’re right: the 3 by 6 is a great idea. The subtitle of University of Delaware professor Doug Tallamy’s recent book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” is “A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.” Meaning: The choices we make all year-round, including the very important one of how we clean up, can help counteract an overdeveloped, fragmented landscape that puts the food web to the test. I hope that everyone who loves to experiment in their gardens joins me on this global food journey. The winter season can yield some incredible plants, vegetables, and fruits—given that you are armed with expert knowledge. How long ago did you first break outside of the normal gardening calendar season? Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. I start growing them in mid- to late September, and even into April we’ll still be seeding more. © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Are you always looking at beautiful vegetables at the grocery store and wondering where on earth they come from? Listen locally in the Hudson Valley (NY)-Berkshires (MA)-Litchfield Hills (CT) Mondays at 8:30 AM Eastern, rerun at 8:30 Saturdays. That was a treat, to discover that. So arugula was your gateway drug into season extension. Right now there is still time even in our Northern gardens, to plant some things that we will harvest in the fall. Q. And it even tasted better than it had in August or early September, with the cold temperatures. I’ve had them in the past but don’t right now. Growing attractive edibles right into, and even through, the winter. But you don’t need one. It’s prolific, easy to grow, and probably among the top 5 cold-tolerant plants to grow for a fall-winter garden. Then you can lift it and harvest whenever. That might be in the cards in the next few months. Or play the Aug. 8, 2016 show right here. We grow greens and lettuces in an attached solar greenhouse, effectively extending Please include me in the book giveaway. Row cover was eye-opening for me, and I still use it. Even though it’s efficient, because you’re using 8-foot lumber, the 4 by 8 is a hefty thing to lift. If you start them indoors, you don’t have to worry about that. Winter Gardening + Harvesting Tips From Niki Jabbour | HGTV They are topped with Lexan which has a double layer of polycarbonate for added insulation. It’s so ridiculously cold-tolerant. :). Her radio program, The Weekend Gardener, is heard throughout Eastern Canada on News 95.7 FM and she blogs on Savvy Gardening, where she shares more gardening tips, DIYs and cold-weather gardening advice. About Niki Jabbour: Niki is a garden writer and radio host from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Known for her expertise in cold-weather gardening, she grows dozens of vegetable varieties in her 2,000-square-foot garden that she's able to harvest year round. The Winter Garden: Over 35 step-by-step projects for small spaces using foliage and flowers, berries and blooms, and herbs and produce. For example, Swiss chard is a fall garden superstar but tends to succumb to the frigid temperatures in our garden by December. These are arched over a garden bed and secured to the ground over one-foot-long rebar stakes. With her lively “Like this? Follow your zany muse and get creative with your vegetable garden. Q. Yours are made from wood. But we were looking ahead to spring then, not fall. Cold frames are the foundation of our winter garden and mine measures 3' x 6'. 5 Ways to Grow More Food in Less Space. Niki’s vegetable garden in Halifax just got a facelift to become even more productive. When it comes to shielding crops from the elements, Jabbour uses a variety of methods and materials. No nurseries I have ever found sell good-quality, fresh seedlings for succession planting after like early July. In our last minutes, I have to ask you: Did you really bulldoze that super-productive garden of yours, Niki? Once I had my own garden and began experimenting, I realized it was possible to extend that season far beyond the early autumn limit and never looked back. It loves the cold weather. Good luck to all. Catalog. Are there examples of different crops that match up best with one of these tactics, or don’t? Early on, I found the biggest challenge was finding seeds for my winter garden. But Niki Jabbour…well, she puts me to shame, with not just multiple summer sowings and then September or October salads and kale and peas to pick, but a list of 30ish cold-season crops she can harvest after that, from November through March–even in her Nova Scotia backyard (roughly equivalent to USDA Zone 6). Those planks are 2 inches thick, and the backs of my cold frames are about 18 inches tall and the fronts are about a foot. Soon, I began building mini hoop tunnels over my raised beds for fall and winter harvesting. Q. OK, I’m writing this down so I get the right stuff. I also use my season extenders, like mini hoop tunnels, so I can plant heat-loving, long-season crops like ground cherries, eggplants and peppers earlier in the spring. The space has just transformed into this lovely space that I sit in every day. You just plant them inside in flats, densely. My husband and I will retire in 1 year and I would love to start planning our garden with this book. Many companies didn’t stock the vegetables or varieties I wanted to grow: mache, mizuna, claytonia, tatsoi and so on. I grow herbs indoors in the winter — oregano, chives, bay leaves, lavender. You can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here). In The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, Nova Scotia–based gardener and writer Niki Jabbour shares her secrets for growing food during every month of the year. My first book, the award-winning, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, was published in 2012 and Groundbreaking Food Gardens hit shelves in March 2014! Thanks so much for bringing the idea of year round gardening to our attention. Winter vegetables need a solid start before winter arrives, because once cold, dark days settle in, plants won’t grow gangbusters, like they do in the summer months. I tried 4 by 8, but the tops are so heavy to lift. I get all these mulched leaves and it’s a treasure. It’s very heavy if you buy the boards; very dense. I also don’t have to water or weed and the only tasks are harvesting and brushing the snow off the structures after a snowstorm. All you have to do to enter is answer this question in the comments box by scrolling all the way down the page, after the last reader comment: Do you grow any edibles in the “offseason,” whether indoors or under cover or in a greenhouse–even if just a few extra weeks before or after frost with row covers and the like? You mentioned with your root crops, that just keeping that soil surface from freezing solid, using your leaf or straw mulch, is enough for that. I love the idea of the higher raised beds — my biggest challenge is making a calendar so I an plan ahead. We grow a wide variety of food in our fall and winter garden beds and many, like kale and carrots, get sweeter as the temperature drops. Q. By the time late October or November hits, it’s really looking beautiful. I thought, “I’ll put a straw bale on top of my carrots, and that will be like the super-easiest mulch ever.” I didn’t realize the straw bale would literally freeze to the soil and I could never pry it off in winter. Picking the right crops to grow is very important. The general rule of thumb for planting a winter vegetable garden in Zones 7 to 10 is to plant during October. I KNOW A LOT of gardeners, including myself, who might be called oddballs. Veggie Garden Remix celebrates diversity in the garden and spotlights some of my favorite unusual, global or uncommon edibles like burr gherkins, cucamelons, Inca berries, chickpeas, Yukina savoy, celtuce and about 235 other awesome crops. You can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here). So maybe the cooler part of the year is an opportunity? You can do it very economically and with very few things you have to build. Learn how your comment data is processed. Q. Niki Jabbour brings you 73 novel and inspiring food garden designs that include a cocktail garden featuring all the ingredients for your favorite drinks, a spicy retreat comprising 24 varieties of chile peppers, and a garden that’s devoted to supplying year-round salad greens. A. I’ve never shoveled my mini-hoop tunnels, because I find that with what I keep in there it doesn’t make a huge difference. Nov 15, 2012 - A blog about my adventures as a professional garden writer, radio show host and obsessive veggie gardener! It’s a native plant to California, and actually helped prevent scurvy during the Gold Rush, because it would come up in early spring. You want to have them a little lower. Q. But with help from Niki Jabbour, let’s be more polite and talk.. 2019 Program Guide, Bailey Nurseries. Two crops that I haven’t really grown the way that I saw in your book: One was Claytonia, the miner’s lettuce. Mine are made of hemlock, which is a local, untreated wood that I buy that’s very rot-resistant. Your light stand—how long are those in service? A. Growing FOOD in Pots. We add the pea shoots to stir fries, salads, sandwiches, wraps—just about anything we possibly can. You don’t have to build new things to be a cold-season harvester; you can use things that are around you as well. I had a “Salad table top” raised bed made this spring that allows me to stand up & sow & harvest basil, cilantro & thyme. What happened? My first season extender was a fabric row cover that allowed me to stretch our homegrown arugula harvest by weeks. A. Oh, the meals that we now enjoy! A. [Laughter.] Photo credits on this post go to: Niki Jabbour and Joseph De Sciose. Dave and Maggie are trilled to welcome award-winning author Niki Jabbour back to the show. But an answer is even better. I first became aware of Canadian garden writer and radio host Niki Jabbour when she asked me to appear on her Weekend Gardener radio program several years ago. A. I found what works best for me is a 3 by 6 foot cold frame. But if I’m going to gingerly wade into this and extend my season into November, December and so on—which ones should I start with? A. A. Your email address will not be published. Photo by: Excerpted from Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix, © by Niki Jabbour, photography by © Philip Ficks., used with permission from Storey Publishing, Excerpted from Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix, © by Niki Jabbour, photography by © Philip Ficks., used with permission from Storey Publishing. I sow the seed, I’m done. But in winter, the bacteria or fungi that cause most common garden diseases are inactive or have been killed by the cold temperatures. We harvest it until March or April, and it will eventually start flowering by February or March–and we eat the flowers in our salads. In late autumn, before the ground freezes, mulch any root or stem crops (leeks, carrots, beets, celeriac, etc) left in your garden beds with a 12 to 18-inch-deep layer of shredded leaves or straw. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants. Very easy to grow, and there are other shoots to grow as well—broccoli shoots, arugula shoots. It looked really good. I would love to grow carrots in the winter and have been researching other veggie’s to grow too. Q. And then I’ll plant lettuces under the lights and they will be ready to transplant in early September, and they’ll take us through February probably. A. Margaret's weekly public-radio show, from Robin Hood Radio in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation. She is one of the contributors to the blog Savvy Gardening and creator of the award-winning radio program, The Weekend Gardener, that’s heard throughout Eastern Canada. I’ve considered getting this book anyway. So delicious. Health issues are taking their toll on me right now but I do want to garden in the winter and the other seasons as well. Get the most out of your garden this winter with these simple tips. Certainly the root crops that are already in your garden in the fall—it’s so easy to extend the season, because again, it’s just a layer of mulch. Having read it from cover to cover, I can honestly … I was just playing around and experimenting, but I had so much success because it is so easy to do. A. I think the first thing you need to think about is what do you like to eat. These structures capture solar energy and create a microclimate around our vegetables. Q. My beds are all raised beds, which makes season extension a snap. My picks of garden gear, books, and mulch, mulch more, all things I use myself. We grow lettuces that are started in the greenhouse, then grow on in gallon pots on the south-facing porch on the picnic table. I just started my garden from scratch again, and I’ve reserved a space for a 14- or 16-foot poly tunnel by 24 feet. That would be another way to go. Niki Jabbour is an author, blogger, radio host and gardening expert from Halifax, Nova Scotia. “I usually put an old bed sheet on top of that just to hold the straw or the leaves in place, a… [Niki’s blog post on the project, with photos.]. When Gilmore and I connected through Facebook, she had questions about which one of the buildings she should choose. However, in recent years, our climate has begun to change and our summers have definitely gotten longer and warmer. Even sesame seeds, as long as they’re not roasted or treated. I’d usually start with some salad crops, and baby kale, or kale plants under a mini-hoop tunnel. It can be hard because this week I am sowing carrots, for fall and winter harvesting, and it is hot and dry. The great thing about winter veggies is the wide variety of texture they offer. So you may not be sitting in it in January, but you’ll be going out to shovel the snow off those cold frames or to keep the hoop tunnels from a heavy snow load. I had the design, and then my husband’s back went out. Niki Jabbour is an expert at growing plants year round even in Nova Scotia. In the book I included all these fun little ways to get around the hot, dry summer. Welcome! No answer, or feeling shy? In spring and fall, I make sure to vent my structures often by propping open the tops of the cold frames or clipping up the ends of the mini hoop tunnels to allow good air circulation. They are going to be going into the garden hopefully if we get some rain in the next day or two. Her articles have appeared in Canadian Gardening, Garden Making, Gardens East, The Heirloom Gardener, and other publications. A. I’ve done both, I can tell you. A. It’s matching size to structure. Join the party! This my first attempt at this and I hope it works out well. Just say something like “count me in,” and I will. It just adds a little fun to the garden. It has to be “Star Wars” for it to work, for the correct thermal value? 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