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What I've learned so far about the 4-season thing ....

19 years ago

I've had Fall and early Spring veggies in past seasons, but this was the first Winter that I tried to make it all the way through with salad greens and the like. I am half-way done with Coleman's book. So far I've figured out that I planted about a month or so too late for my zone, I failed to add extra layers of protection on the really bitterly frigid days, and I wasn't diligent enough about keeping snow off the various coverings I'm using on my raised beds. Even with all that failure I had fresh vegetables through the holiday season. A serious blizzard here recently blew frigid air and snow into the apex vents of my cheapie cold frames and most everything is frostbitten now. Still, there is a lot of itsy-bitsy salad greens that look like they will grow again if we get a warm spell, which is likely since this is New England.

So in summation I'm amazed that anything grew at all, and I can see how I will make a much better effort next year. What you have to do, it seems, is get used to paying attention to air temperature, wind factors, bright sunshine, and the forecast for the day for guidance in how to accomodate the growing environment. You have to assess this EVERY DAY to avoid plants being unnecessarily cooked or frozen. You have to have a plan and materials at the ready if you need to double-cover your beds (mine are all raised) in the event of severe snow and cold, and you need to remove accumulated snow regularly. Since I have seen that blizzard winds blew upwards and into my partly-sheltered vents, I will know next year to have something ready to reliably seal those. I am also beginning to entertain the idea of smaller cloches set inside the bigger frames.

Over the summer I will firm up on which crops to plant and earlier planting dates. This has been a lot of fun in general, and well worth doing!

Anyone else about where I am on this?

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