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Grow Your Rows! How to extend your harvests into fall and winter.

Mid-Weight Row Cover Cut to Length - 83 Inch Width

Mid-Weight Row Cover Cut to Length - 83 Inch Width

Fend off pests and frost with this essential organic gardening supply.

Friends unfamiliar with the Northeast growing season are often surprised to hear how late into the year we continue harvesting veggies on the farm without using a heated greenhouse. We delight in these late October/November collections and are thankful for the varieties that are tough enough to stick it out a little longer than their fairer weather friends.

Extending the season on the tail end of summer is basically the opposite of extending the season in the spring. In the spring, we create warm environments to get our planting growing, whereas in the fall we make a warmer environment to keep them going, and extend their vibrancy.

Here in the Northeast, we have the cold to battle, but we are also at odds with day length. When the days get shorter than 10 hours, plant growth ceases. Here in the Hudson Valley, our days reach 10 hours on November 10th, so our goal with our late fall garden is to have everything lush and ready to harvest before that date - we use October 15 as a target date. This isn't when we plan to harvest everything, but it's when we like to have things ready to harvest.

A September 1 planting of arugula. By late October, this Arugula was fully mature!A September 1 planting of arugula. By late October, this Arugula was fully mature!

 

 

1. Plan to use row cover, even a double layer. In the spring, we cover freshly seeded beds with row cover. In the fall, we use row cover to protect mature plants. Since our fall crops go in the ground in peak summer, it can be a bad idea to cover them with a row cover on the hottest days, as it will trap heat and moisture. Aim to cover your plants when the temperatures start to drop. For us, this falls in early October, but it is always a good idea to watch the weather and be prepared to get your plants covered as soon as nighttime temps are in the 40's. To keep row covers directly off the plants, we recommend using hoops, such as our pre-bent wire hoops. To use wire hoops, insert them into the ground prior to using the row cover, spaced about 4 feet apart. Center the rover cover over the top of the hoops and let drop down, leaving a 1' lip along the ground. Weight the cover securely at each end and at each hoop end with rock bags. To access your plants, simply move the rock bags to the side. Once temps start to get below freezing, add another layer to keep plants from getting damaged by freezing.

2. Plant cold hardy crops in late summer. If you are looking for varieties to sow now for harvesting in the late fall, turn to spinach, arugula, watermelon radish and asian greens. Cover them with row cover when the nights turn chilly to aid their growth. Spinach and Tatsoi are the hardiest of all the leafy greens, so leave those for harvesting last.

3. Harvest and store root crops before a freeze. While most roots are cold hardy, harvest them before a hard freeze and store them in a cool, dark, humid location. Make sure this location doesn't freeze as it can damage roots and make them spoil. Alternatively, you can heavily mulch carrots, parsnips, and beets and keep harvesting them through December.

Watermelon Radish

Watermelon Radish

A wonderful fall radish to sow in late summer.

Out of stock

Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach

Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach

Boasts cold tolerance and high yields.

Wild Arugula

Wild Arugula

Arugula's punchier wild cousin self-sows and regrows.

Out of stock

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