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FOUR-SEASONS GARDENING:

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES TO GROWING FOOD IN ALL FOUR SEASONS, EVEN IN THE c c c c c COLD

EVE SPRINGWOOD MINSON NOFA-NJ and JUST ONE SEED

HOWD WE GET HERE? You mean we dont need California after all?

ELIOT COLEMAN thank you!

Eliot and Barbara Damrosch

The Maestro Elliot Coleman has been busy

THE FOUR-SEASONS GROWING MODEL


Yes, FOUR GROWING Seasons even here in the NORTHEAST!
WINTER: Plan field growing; active but slower growth in hoophouses and low tunnels, start early heated greenhouse production LATE WINTER/EARLYSPRING: New greens seeding in hoops; heated GH production

LATE SPRING: Transplanting from heated GH; early tomatoes in hoops along with other warm season crops like cukes, zukes, eggplant.
EARLY SUMMER: hoops for tomatoes and tenders, seed for late summer LATE SUMMER/EARLY FALL: start transplants for fall hoops FALL (by October): direct sow hoops for winter production that will last until Feb/March

THE ANNUAL GROWING SEASON STRUCTURES


UNHEATED HOOPHOUSES Tall and Mid-size For season extension for warm and cold seasons can operate 365 days Seed starting for cold tolerant plants Drying herbs Curing root crops, garlic, onions

HEATED GREENHOUSE:

Seeding transplants for all seasons Starting microgreens Drying seeds, herbs, garlic Curing crops

COLD FRAMES and Low Hoops:


Small-scale production Holding flats during transition time and season Overwintering roots, greens

LATE FALL/EARLY WINTER: PLANNING, DESIGNING AND PREPARING


DREAM IT UP! Long cold nights are great for planning field production based on rotation plan from last year, updating your website, harvesting everything you planted earlier this fall. PRODUCTION SCHEDULE AND LISTS: Revisit last year, update, edit Catalog info: Lots of information there that you may not be aware of Order seed, fruit plants, perennials, supplies, etc.

Prepare for starting seedlings indoorsclean up greenhouse

STRUCTURES

SEASON-EXTENSION TOOLS AND TERMS


COLD FRAME a box, usually sunk into the ground a foot or so, with an angled, transparent lid that can be opened, closed or propped partly open to vent heat. The bottom can be open to soil , in-ground plants can be seeded or seedlings hardened off in pots.
CLOCHE an old French market-gardeners term for a bell-shaped glass jar placed over young plants in spring. Wall-o-waters and hot caps are the current incarnations. FLOATING ROW COVER water and air permeable, these synthetic fabrics help hold in the heat when placed close to the ground. The transparent plastic version, placed right over the soil and held down with stakes or weights, can create a mini-microclimate for seed germination. Outdoors, the covers can help keep out insect pests. QUICK HOOPS, LOW HOOPS, LOW TUNNELS slightly higher coverings, stretched across frames outdoor crops that still provide a single layer of climate extension. They can be added only to protect from spring and autumn frosts or employed year-round if vented. HOOP HOUSE, HIGH TUNNEL, COLD HOUSE, COOL HOUSE unheated or minimally heated (to just above freezing) structures, tall enough to stand in, where crops are grown inground; can be movable for seasonal changes and cover crop rotations.

HEATED GREENHOUSE MOVEABLE HOOP

LOW HOOPS

ELIOT COLEMAN PRODUCTION FIELDS

BASIC UNHEATED HOOP HOUSE OR HIGH TUNNEL STRUCTURAL DESIGN

From MOTHER EARTH NEWS

HOOPHOUSE PRODUCTION FOR FOUR SEASONS GARDENING

WINTER- there is green life under the row cover!

ELIOT COLEMANS OPERATION IN MAINE

Rebecca at JUST ONE SEED

TRANSITION SEASON CHANGING OVER IN TINICUM, PA

SMALLER STRUCTURES

A QUICK HOOP IS a low tunnel that gives plants extra protection in cold weather.
Acting as a mini-greenhouse, the inexpensive structure allows you to grow vegetables year-round metal or PVC.

HOOPS CAN BE HELD DOWN WITH PLASTIC ROCK BAGS, OR LANDSCAPE STAPLES WORK

Various berries, basil for early harvest , ginger, and culinary herbs

OR BETTER YET, PARTIES!

HOOPHOUSE PRODUCTION

GENERAL BENEFITS OF SOLAR-HEATED COVER IN A HOOPHOUSE: Low Cost extended cold season of growth and pushing summer crops earlier with natural ventilation and no electric costs or infrastructure Can be a quick PAYBACK time due to high value of crop and extra season

or earlier high-value crops like tomatoes, strawberries, basil


Some insect protection and deer protection if sides are rolled down. Controlling precipitation

Intensive cropping environment


Lots of control Can have higher yields and nicer-looking crops (no wind or hail, etc) Versatile: livestock cover, run the chickens through end of year, store a

tractor, throw a party, grow hot and cold season


Not hard to put up or take down and move; no building permits needed No electric needed, no extra ventilation need with big openings and roll-

up sides so cheap operation

THE CHALLENGES OF HOOPHOOUSES:


EQUIPMENT. Not easy to use large equipment in unless they are very large mostly walk-behind rototiller and handtools after first plowing and

tilling. This can be done before hoops go up.


MAKE IT RAIN! Salt buildup will take place over timemake sure you have some extended overhead watering to leach out salts. LET IS SNOW, let it snowNOT!! Snow removal is a must! Especially in anything above 2-4 inches. Be creative with your solutions. KEEP IT COOL! Temperatures can become VERY hot in high summer without shade cloth, roll-up sides and proper ventilation. Use both to

your benefit.
FALLOW AND ROTATE LIKE YOUR FIELDS. Temptation to keep cropping over and over without a fallow period and cover crop

SITING:
LEVEL site with soils that have good drainage. Good sunlight a must! Away from trees and shade. Line up with prevailing winds so wind goes through and not dead on so it will topple the HH. (I always strengthen with rebar and ropes) Think of drainage on sides if mucky and fill with vegetation but not

weeds. Keep maintained with mower. Watch out for weedwhackers


can slice a hoop fast!!! Think of permanent raised beds to enhance warming up of soils Water must be easy to access. Generally easy to get tousually mixed into a complex of greenhouses and hoophouses easy to access with a tractor for transplanting, harvesting, etc.

SHADE CLOTH: Reduces Temps

ROW COVER WEIGHTS ARE LIGHT TO WINTER HEAVY DUTY

ROLL-UP SIDES!! The best ventilation possiblebut remember when nights get cool.

DIFFERENT END WALL DESIGNS: the more light and ventilation the better!

VENTILATION: Through roll up sides, end walls, and open doors.

PLANNING THE SEASON

SEEDING SCHEDULES
HOOPHOUSE: Direct Seed, seasonal change-out, rotation, fallow cover crop GREENHOUSE: Flats to transplant into larger pots, Jan to Sept FIELD: Direct Seed, March to October

FIELD: Transplants, April to October (remember to rotate and cover crop!)


MICRO-GREENS: Seasonal, direct sow

LATE AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER

DIRECT SOW FRESH for HARVEST ALL WINTER:


Arugula Cut and come again lettuce and mesclun mix Spinach Asian greens: mizuna, tatsoi, bok choy, mustards, Napa, etc. Peas: snap, shelling and snow peas Cilantro, parsley, water cress, Chinese celery Beets, carrots, turnips Kale, chard, collards Radishes, French Breakfast and Daikon Broccoli grows beautifully in HH but often isnt worth the space, but try Brocooli Raab or Sprouting Broccoli

TRANSPLANTS: Leeks, scallions, cress, garlic for early scapes, Head lettuce can be started in the greenhouse, or coldframes or the hoop in trays or soil blocks for transplanting into the HH later

WINTER IN HOOPS: Light changes, things warm up, get going!


KEEP HARVESTING from fall: carrots, beets, turnips, greens, alliums through mid Spring, replenish nutrients with compost, mineral blend and chicken manure and then prep HH for Spring Warm Season Early Plantings Start HEAD LETTUCE TRANSPLANTS IN GREENHOUSE FOR transplanting outside in late March/early April or HH in late Feb.

APRIL PLANTINGS: early tomatoes, peppers, eggplants - these will last until November and be followed by transplants of select greens for the winter
MID APRIL: Basil, cucumbers, zukes

END OF TYPICAL GROWING SEASON


LATE SUMMER: Plant last round of zukes, beans, broccoli, short season cabbage (place under row cover to keep alive during earlyfrosts)

THEN,TREAT FALL LIKE SPRING:

short days, longer nights, cool evenings and then eventually cool days

-Varieties: Spinach, scallions, beets, lettuce, turnips, beets, Asian greens: Napa cabbage, Tatsoi, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens, leeks, cilantro, dill, parsley, peas, arugula, kale, chard, broccoli, broccoli raab, short season cabbage

ADDITIONAL CROPS: Cilantro: best in cool temps Sweet Peas : Snaps and Podded, Snow Peas Cold Tolerant not FROST-tolerant EARLY Tomatoes: Sweet 100s, Siberian, Stupice, Moskvich, Oregon Spring, Earliana, Northern Lights, Early Girl, Early Wonder, Siberian Red,

EARLY Eggplant: Orient express

Hoophouse Cultivar and Scheduling Examples From the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm Crop Cultivar* Direct Seed (DS) or Transplant (TP) Seed Date** Calender Week Scheduled Transplant Date** Week of the Year

SPRING Asian Greens*** Baby Salad**** Beets Carrots Chard Cilantro Collards Cucumber Eggplant Kale Various Various-Fast and Slow Golden, Ace Sugarsnax, Napoli Bright Lights Santo Flash Diva Orient Express, Nadia Red Russian, Toscano, Winterbor Aruba, Ermosa, Various Ace, Carmen TP DS DS DS TP DS TP TP TP TP 14-Jan 1-Feb 1-Feb 1-Feb 14-Jan 1-Feb 14-Jan 27-Mar 1-Mar 14-Jan 3 5 5 5 2 5 2 12 9 2 11-Feb 11-Feb 11-Feb 1-May 1-May 11-Feb 7 6 6 17 17 6

Lettuces

TP

14-Jan

11-Feb

Pepper

TP

21-Feb

15-Apr

15

HIGH TUNNEL MANUAL , Produced by Regional Farm and Food Project and Cornell University http://www.uvm.edu/sustainableagriculture/Documents/HighTunnels.pdf RUTGERS UNIVERSITY CORNELL UNIVERSITY

PENN STATE

Books: 1. The Hoophouse Handbook, by Lynn Byczinski 2. The Winter Harvest Manual, by Eliot Coleman 3. Walking to Spring, by Paul & Alison Weidiger 4. The Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual, by Carol Ford & Chuck Waibel

PENN STATE Publications


High Tunnel Manual "Production of Vegetables, Strawberries, and Cut Flowers Using Plasticulture NRAES-133" "Implementation of a BioControl Program for Insect Control in High Tunnels" Cost is $10.00 (includes tax).

Presentations

Green Production in High Tunnels [pdf] High Tunnel Cut Flowers [pdf] High Tunnel Construction [pdf]

High Tunnel Technology [pdf]

Crop Specific Articles


Production System for Horticultural Crops Grown in the Penn State High Tunnel [ pdf] High Tunnel Production of Cucumber on Raised Beds

High Tunnel Garlic Variety Study


High Tunnel Production of Lettuce using Paper Mulch, Bare Ground and Earth Boxes High Tunnel Tomato Variety Trial

THANKS FOR COMING! HAVE A GREAT SEASON IN YOUR HOOPHOUSE!!