Just to let you know, I'm going to be starting another class this coming week, beginning on Tuesday - this one helping people get started with fall gardening and season extension.
If you are like most folks, you probably start out enthusiastic about your garden, but around the middle of the summer, you get focused on harvesting, or overwhelmed and let the cool season garden peter out. And that's a mistake, because with very simple and cheap methods of season extension and a little attention right about now (for those as northerly as me, a bit later for folks south of me in this hemisphere), you can be eating fresh produced well into winter.
Moreover, cool season gardening is satisfying and a lot of fun - fewer bugs, cooler weather, usually more rainfall - the conditions are optimal, the air is crisp and cool and there's just no reason to watch things peter out when you could be enjoying your garden until snowfly - or longer in many places.
But you do have to think about it well before things get cool. And getting the timing right of fall crops can be complicated and takes practice, and learning what techniques work and don't to extend your season, or how to deal with hot weather at planting time can be challenging, and this class is for people from beginners to advanced gardeners who still haven't figured all this out.
Like all my classes, this one is online and asynchronous. It lasts four weeks, from July 7 to July 27. You participate when you have time, and while I put up most of the week's material on Tuesdays, I'm available regularly through the week. The class includes weekly readings, lots of discussion and planning help and guidance, and one 15 minute phone conversation to talk about any questions or problems you are having, or strategize on designing how to get the most out of your garden.
Cost of the class is $100, and I have four spots still available for low income scholarship students. I ask that if you are applying for scholarship you give me a brief explanation of why you would qualify. Anyone who would like to donate a part or whole of an additional scholarship spot can get in touch with me about that and 100% of the cost of your donation will go to making the class free for another low income participant.
To join the class or get more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's the syllabus:
Week I, July 6 - Introduction to the basics of cool season gardening and fall planting, garden planning, choosing varieties, estimating planting dates, finding space in your garden, designing for a three (or four) season garden.
Week II, July 13 - Introduction to Season Extension, strategies for extending your season, dealing with heat and cold, water and irrigation, cheap and dirty season extension techniques, timing for preservation.
Week III, July 20 - Cover cropping, using containers to extend the season, seed saving, Greenhouses, hoophouses and more advanced season extension, winter harvesting, recipes from a cool season garden, troubleshooting the fall garden.
Week IV, July 27 - Mulching, making the best use of small space, using vertical space in the winter, tropicals and pushing your zone hardiness limits, Choosing perennials to extend the season, Menus from the snow.
you get focused on harvesting, or overwhelmed and let the cool season garden peter out.
snicker. chuckle. chagrined laugh. and a groan.
Harvesting?? I'm still getting the bloody thing PLANTED! I took great heart in your (re)post the other day about skipping the summer garden and working on an awesome fall garden! Well, really, I'm just working on getting ANY garden. This plant stuff shouldn't be so hard but for me it seems to be, and is EXACTLY why people need to start practicing now, before it's required.
who is treasure hunting among the grasses for possible food products...
Will the class be of value for mid-continent, far north US? There is no possible way to do "four season" outdoor gardening when we have extended -50 below zero.
Kathy - that's why I say "three or four season."
I would say yes - extending an already short gardening season is a big deal if you need every week.