Growing and harvesting vegetables all four seasons of the year is only a dream for many cold climate gardeners.
Her book, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener (Storey Publishing) proves you can grow your own food, 365 days of the year, no matter where you live. Seasonal Wisdom sat down with Niki to get more advice on four-season vegetable gardening, and learn about her award-winning book. Over the last year, Niki and I have become friends through social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, as well as our garden writing community. The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener taught me a lot about how the growing season can be extended from an early jump start in the spring to fall planning for winter harvests. Winner of the 2012 American Horticultural Society Book Award, the 247-page book is packed with gorgeous four-color photography, as well as practical and inexpensive ways to grow vegetables all four seasons.
From getting an early start in spring to picking vegetables in winter, Niki walks you through a calendar that makes these ongoing harvests possible. Part 1 explains how to stretch the growing season effectively using everything from cloches to row covers and homemade hoop tunnels, such as the uncovered frame shown in the garden above. When winter comes, the mini hoop tunnels can be used to grow a wide variety of taller vegetables, such as kale and leeks. Niki gives great tips for succession planting and interplanting, so you can fit more in your garden spaces.
I still love kale though, which is incredibly cold tolerant and we grow about six types each winter. Carrots are definitely the top cold season crop for the kids, but I love all the salad greens.
Answer:  I really want to encourage gardeners to move outside their comfort zone both in terms of gardening techniques (with a cold frame, for example) and with variety selection.
The working title for this book is Superstar Food Gardens: 70 Plans From My Favorite Gardeners. I’m thrilled that Seasonal Wisdom’s kitchen garden design, inspired by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other famous Founding Fathers will be featured in Niki’s upcoming recently-released book. Hope this post inspires everyone to keep eating local and seasonal foods, as well as to grow more foods yourself, even in winter.
Kim and I have grown carrots and kale during the winter but would love to try more veggies!
I would love to grow veggies all year-round so we could have more fresh veggies and fruit for the kids.
We just moved to Connecticut from Pennsylvania where we belonged to a CSA that had a winter market and grew beautiful veggies in a hoop house all winter.
I’d love to have a copy of this book to see what ideas I could take into my California winter garden. This year our goal is to support our veggie needs by growing them here on Vashon in our extensive garden. My husband and I seem to spend our winter discussing how to extend our growing season – but we don’t ever DO it! I usually only grow Swiss chard over the winter, but I think, with this book I could learn so much more! I have the book out now from our library ( I check books out first to see if I want to purchase them ). This book looks like it offers a lot of valuable information on winter growing that is definitely worth checking out!
I’d love to learn how to extend our season – especially as here in VT we have such a short growing season! I’d love to be able to trudge through the snow and come back in the house with fresh greens for dinner. I would love to grow my own fresh vegetables in winter, have to try that hoop house over the raised beds. I live in north east Ohio and have a nice garden every year but I would love to keep gardening in the winter!
About Beth & Chad It’s amazing to see what started as a childhood dream is now a reality.
GLTi is proud to provide urban agriculture through our GLTi Food Factories and Edible Wall Technology. The GLTi Mobile Edible Wall Units (MEWU) are manufactured from the highest grade stainless steel, made to last, mounted on wheels so they can be relocated to maximize the exposure to the sun throughout the year and be configured to fit odd-shaped areas.

Additionally, the unit can be situated indoors during the winter months to provide a year round growing experience complete with grow lights that support both leafy greens and flowering plants. With multiple applications and options contact us now to design your vertical farm!  For smaller applications great for apartments and offices the picture wall may be the wise choice! Contact us today for information on having us install an urban farm of edible wall for you! Sweet potato plants are sensitive to cold, so they should not be planted outdoors until the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees F.
Don't fertilize your sweet potatoes at planting time — they don't require much in the way of nutrients. The foliage on regular potato plants tends to die back when the spuds are ready to harvest. Once harvested, let your sweet potatoes air dry for several hours, then nestle them into a shallow basket or ventilated box, lined with dry newspaper. Excuse the pun, but I was really hungry for information on growing food in my own winter garden. So, imagine being able to eat locally and seasonally from your own garden in a cold climate like Canada? There’s also great advice on intensive planting, prepping the soil and designing effective gardens.
Plus, Niki provides a helpful planting schedule for each crop, as well as her favorite varieties.
Can you imagine how nice it must be to harvest spicy greens, kales and lettuces, even in the snow? Over the years I’ve had fun experimenting with countless crops, pushing my season to extend for as long as possible. When the frost arrives in autumn, many gardeners are tired and happy to hang up those gardening gloves until the following spring.
There is no weeding or watering, and I don’t have to fight the deer or slugs like I do in spring, summer and autumn!
My top pick for flavour and tenderness is dinosaur kale, which is also called black or Tuscan kale.
The mature leaves are used for kale chips and in soups, wraps, burritos and more, but the baby leaves are perfect for tender salads. Many of our devices are made from recycled materials, but even a simple row cover or cloche can be used to extend the harvest for several weeks in spring or autumn. Niki has a new book coming out in late 2013, which features dozens of amazing gardeners from North America and the UK, who have shared some of their own ideas for growing food. I’m curious how things will turn out in soggy and sunless Seattle, but always willing to give it a go.
Like Nikki, I think more people would garden in winter if they knew 1) how EASY it is to do, and 2) how well cold-tolerant plants withstand freezing temperatures. I use herbs in my front beds during the winter since some of them survive with minimal protection, and now want to try veggies.
Trial and error are the best ways to learn and of coarse with the help of Nikki’s book. As a fourth year medical student I have very little time for hobbies, but gardening is my one exception and because I believe it is much better for your health I try to grow as much of my own food as I can.
It is so nice to be able to grow fresh greens year round, and being able to pick fresh lettuce, spinach, arugula, scallions, sage, parsley and other green from a snow covered cold-frame (mini-greenhouse) in the middle of December is such a joy! There is nothing more satisfying than preparing a meal with ingredients you’ve grown yourself.
We do not to purchase greens unless locally grown organic and they tend to be hard to find and expensive during the winter. Good luck in this random drawing, and don’t forget to check your spam folders to see if you won! Extending my too short growing season by winter sowing this year, along with growing some herbs and lettuces under my grow lights. The Garden Gates continues as an incredible journey while we grow and evolve into a unique lifestyle that permeates all that we do. Our history begins 30 years ago when both Chad and Beth found themselves as young adults living in the vibrant city of New Orleans. GLTi is a pioneer in “zero miles” from farm to table with indoor and outdoor edible walls for growing fresh fruits and vegetables in urban environments.

This also allows for use in parking areas, Brownfield sites, and temporary farming solutions. But the heart-leafed vine that produces sweet potatoes requires a longer growing season (100 to 140 days) and warmer soil than the kind of plant that produces regular "white" potatoes.
For the first three to four weeks after planting, keep the plants covered with garden fabric to reduce stress and speed early growth.
In the garden, mix some well-aged compost into each planting hole and then plant slips 12-18" apart, burying the stem with soil right up to the first pair of leaves.
It also prevents the vines from setting down more roots as they grow, which takes energy from tuber formation. The tubers should then be "cured" for 10 to 15 days at 80 to 85 degrees (a warm, dark attic is ideal). Now, we are able to enjoy a year-round harvest and I wanted to share my successes – and failures!
Growing into winter is really very easy, but does require some advance planning as most of winter crops are planted in late summer and early autumn. I have not yet tried winter gardening and I believe this book would be a great to begin my foray into it! I had a blast talking to her and am thrilled that she will be contributing to my next book that will be released in late 2013.. Our uniquely New Orleans business offers a global feel – refined elegance meets casual living with a focus on the outdoors.
At the same time they were marrying and starting a family, Chad was building a landscaping business that quickly grew into a home and garden center in Old Metairie, a beautiful neighborhood in the New Orleans area.
By utilizing our GLTi bioSoil to populate your panels, you can grow amazing  produce without the need for any chemical fertilizers or synthetic additives. The gardens around my home in Richmond, VT, include a large vegetable garden, seasonal greenhouse, cutting garden, perennial gardens, rock garden, shade garden, berry plantings, lots of container plants and a meadow garden. Until recently, that's made them almost impossible to grow in the colder parts of the country. These tender, rooted sprouts can be purchased by mail or sometimes as potted plants at a garden center. To help warm the soil, spread black plastic over the planting area for a couple weeks before planting. If you are growing sweet potatoes in Grow Bags, fill the bags with Container Mix, and then add a shovelful of compost and about half a cup of granular organic fertilizer.
If you are not using plastic, lift the vines from time to time to break off the roots that form along the stem. Let them grow as long as possible (at least 120 days), but be sure to harvest the tubers before the first heavy frost. I have heirloom kales, tatsoi, michihili cabbage, rapini, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, mizuna, swiss chard, spinach, rutabaga, and turnips that I’ve been harvesting all winter long, and fava beans have been steadily coming up so that I can get a jump-start on spring. The mobile walls are designed for use indoors, outdoors, and even parking lots – without having to build raised beds or breaking ground.
Now, with short-season sweet potato varieties, such as Georgia Jet, and soil-warming growing techniques, gardeners everywhere can enjoy growing this easy and delicious crop. The natural beauty of lush New Orleans landscapes, the soft feel of cool linen, the artful appeal of simple ingredients, the gentle scent of a favorite candle – we cherish each experience in everyday life and passionately offer the best we can find to our customers. The GLTi Mobile Edible Wall has advance urban food production and vertical farming technology to new levels. You'll find sweet potatoes are easier to dig than regular potatoes because the tubers tend to cluster more closely to the stem. I’m thinking that I should start the veggies earlier in the summer, and then just plan on harvesting through the winter.
As you harvest, treat the tubers gently because the skin is thin and the flesh bruises easily.

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