Growing and harvesting food from your vegetable or herb garden all year can seem like an outright fantasy.
While there’s no shortage of edible crops you can enjoy in the summer and in the fall, the colder months can seem a little scant in terms of growing herbs and vegetables for your kitchen.
But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Even if you live in a colder climate or you experience four seasons a year, you can have something to harvest every day from your garden through careful planning.
How To Grow Food Year Round
Having a productive garden all year requires careful planning. You’re going to need to really sit down and come up with a strategy that will allow you to enjoy the bounty of your garden every day for 12 months. You’ll need to consider the kind of crops you want to grow when to plant them, and how to manage your garden. Today, we’ll be talking about how you can grow food year-round. Let’s get started!
Know Which Vegetables Grow Best Every Season
Seasonal gardening allows you to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables all year. Planting in the proper season lets you have a bountiful harvest every single time because you know what crops grow best for every season.
Spring and Fall are best for hardy and semi-hardy vegetables. This includes
- Brussels sprouts
- English peas
- mustard greens
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Meanwhile, summer is better suited for tender vegetables that love warm weather. This includes
- summer squash
- sweet potatoes
Extend the Growing Season
Usually, the middle and the end of autumn start to bring in colder weather which slows down plant growth. However, you can extend the growing season by protecting your crops. Use fleece, low tunnels, or cold frames to add warmth and shelter to your crops.
In doing so, summer crops like cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes can continue to ripen which will allow you to keep harvesting until late into the season allowing you to reach your goal to grow food year-round.
You might also like: What Vegetables Grow In Shade? No Sun? No Problem
Focus on Overwinter Crops
As the temperature starts to drop, the vegetables you’ve sown in the summer will start to wane. Even if you’ve harvested the last of your summer favorites, you can still enjoy delicious vegetables from your winter vegetable garden.
Cold-season staples like endive, winter lettuce, mustard, spinach, and kale can give you all the leafy greens you need throughout the season. Hard vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets also come out sweeter thanks to the frost.
Remember to protect these crops using a cold frame or by planting them in a greenhouse. It’s also ideal if you give them plenty of space for air circulation and to ensure that they get all the sunlight they need.
Spread Your Harvest
One way you can keep harvesting garden favorites is by planting a mixture of varieties covering early, mid, and late-season harvest. This will allow you to maximize the time you can enjoy each vegetable. Also, sow quick-maturing crops in small batches but do it often throughout the spring and summer so you have a steady succession of harvests.
Plant in Succession
After each growing season, chances are there will be gaps in your harvest as you prepare for the next batch of crops to plant. You can minimize this gap by planting in succession. Choose succession crops you can sow or plant in midsummer that you can harvest in autumn and in the winter. This includes carrots, celeriac, fennel, and dwarf beans.
As you can see it’s not difficult to grow food year-round. It just takes a little forethought and planning to accomplish your goal. Do you grow your own food like fresh vegetables, fruit, and more all year? Tell us about your family food garden, what do you grow on your homestead?
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