The growing season is never as long as we would like, especially for those who live in the north. Here are some tips on how to extend this time.
Get a Head Start. Get a head start on the growing season by planting indoors. Many can be started up to 4 weeks before the original planting time. The best time to transplant is in the spring and summer when they are actively growing; be sure to wait until after the last average frost.
Control the Soil Temp. Use mulch to help insulate or cool down the soil, depending on the time of year. During cold climates consider using dark black or brown mulch in order to attract heat. In hot weather climates, use a reflective or lighter colored mulch in order to keep your plants cooler.
Protect Your Plants. Cover your plants when harsh weather permits. Use clear plastic, fabric row covers, and other homemade remedies in order to protect your plants. Just make sure to remove the coverings when the sun is out and when weather is calm.
Choosing the Right Plants. Choose plants that generally suit your climate best. This will help you maintain your plants easier so that they may produce for longer periods of time.
Feed for Healthy Plants. Feed your plants regularly with specially formulated plant food in order to keep them healthy and strong.
Successive Planting. Continuously replanting is a productive way of stretching the harvest season. There are different methods for this type of planting:
• Same Crop but Alternate Plantings
• Different Varieties of the same Crop with Different Maturity
• Short Season Crop First, Long Season Crop Second
• Two Different Crops in Same Area