Extend the Season with Cold Hardy Crops

red giant mustardIn addition to having a greenhouse, cold frame, or layers of plastic and row cover protection, the best way to extend the "shoulders" of the season is through the proper variety selection. Growing tomatoes, cucumbers and other heat loving annuals is a hard and costly task in early spring, late fall, and into the winter. The secret to growing in four seasons is to focus on cold hardy crops that need only a proper planting schedule and layers of protection. For winter harvests, it's best to have a high tunnel or greenhouse full of greens, but for extension in spring and fall, low tunnels with row cover and plastic will bring the covered space down 1-2 growing zones, extending your season up to 4 weeks. New to growing in the shoulders? Be sure to plan ahead with proper timings of sowings and plantings! Read our helpful articles here and here. Here are our favorite varieties for extending the season. Read the captions for more tips.

Blau Gruner Leek

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Plant Blau Gruner as you would other leeks, but let them over winter under several layers of protection and enjoy them as long as you can harvest them and in the early spring.

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