The Year-Round Garden – The New York Times

Is it possible to plant a garden throughout the year?

Yes, in Nova Scotia as well. Through years of experimentation, Nikki jabbor Despite the harshness of its Halifax location, it has developed an all-weather approach to food gardening, where frost can flare up by the end of May and return in early October.

Ms. Jabbor – a fearless vegetable gardener and host of the radio show “The Weekend Gardener” – calls her a “vegetable garden tool kit” that does not include a trowel and pruning scissors (although they are always within reach). Her inevitability is an assortment of clothes and she supports him.

With such a short traditional growing season, Ms. Jaborob can be content for a variety of cool and short-season vegetables – colorful cauliflower, kale’s every texture, and add-on salad ingredients, including Miner Lathes in Claytonia. ), Mizuna and Sorrell. But once she started the tool-kit route, she kept pushing, then pushed some more.

Today, he relies on a reliable crop of iconic Lebanese ingredients such as cucumber melon (also called mekti, or Armenian cucumbers) and perennial Syrian oregano (to make za’atar). They have grown to please her in-laws, migrants from the Mediterranean subtropical region, who now live nearby in a climate that is anything but.

In the process of extending her growing season in both directions, Ms. Jabbor has gained some additional crop-maximizing benefits: she has learned that squash worms, flea beetles and cabbage worms, and even very large pests like deer How to get out of daily. His zone-cheating, season-extending tool kit, it turns out, is an effective blocker against more than just the weather, and this versatility comes from his latest book, “Growing Under Cover: Techniques for a More Productive, Weather-Resistant” The subject is., A pest-free botanical garden. “

Ms. Jabbor’s feats of decency began to adequately settle, with the unlikely use of a row cover in late October, perhaps 18 years earlier. She was applying garlic and noticed a patch of arugula becoming stronger despite the recent frost. He had covered it with some cloth, which he used in the spring on tomato transplants when the temperature briefly submerged. “We cut arugula until Christmas,” she recalled.

That sudden success got him thinking. She begins reading books found on any subject, including classics: Helen and Scott Nearing, the books of Homesteaders of New England, which began in the 1950s series “Living the Good Life” and with Eliot Coleman Carried out his experiments. , A gardener in Maine with 50 years of experience in four-season vegetable production, who was inspired by niering and referred to a generation of organic farmers. Leander Poisson’s “Solar Gardening” was also on the course.

He discovered seeds from northern companies that were well suited to his short season and began ordering the gear of those writers. As he said: “If you are going to invest money and then in the right seeds, why not invest in insurance?”

Just about the right words, when our Seeds are on order (with any luck) And the soil awaits – although it is still frozen or mucky. Are we ready with insurance too? Ms. Jabor suggested us her most used basics to get started.

Successful zone-cheat and insect-prevention relies on matching equipment with the goals of the garden. Are your obstacles heat, frost, insects or animals?

In a small-season area, where it is difficult to mature an entire crop of heat-loving crops such as peppers, eggplants and melons, if the frost descends quickly, a mini-enclosure tunnel covered in greenhouse plastic sheeting is an effective safeguard.

A crop that benefits from a certain type of protection at one end of the season – e.g. tomatoes Outside life begins with a piece of row cover – something more may be needed at the other end. (The chart below provides a quick cross-reference of the challenge-facing tools.)

“It’s very difficult to have a cloth-covered mini-tunnel on a full-grown tomato plant,” said Ms. Jabor, so I can only wrap them in a light or medium row cover attached to the support value of the wood. It doesn’t look so pretty, but you can cook for many more weeks. “

The lightweight rover cover provides protection against pests, as does that plastic mini-tunnel – but is too hot in summer for crops like lettuce, cabbage and broccoli inside the tunnel.

The woven shade cloth meets another challenge, depending on the weight chosen, blocking some of the light, which makes midsummer seeding easier.

“A lot of Crops for fall and winter crops They are planted in summer, when the soil is hot and dry – which seeds do not like, ”said Ms. Jabbour. As summer comes, shade cloth slows soil-moisture evaporation, supporting germination, as well as spring lettuce, argula and spinach.

The material has many weights and brands, but to start the experiment, Ms. Jabor recommends investing in three: a lightweight row cover, a knitted shade cloth and durable, clear-plastic wrap.

When you are buying material, he said, “Farmers consider quality. I want to use less plastic and other materials like this, so I want to pay more and give more durability. “

Start with a fabric row cover: Ms. Jabor recommends the Agribon AG-19, which gives 85 percent light and is rated for insect protection and light frost, which allows about 4 degrees of insulation for temperatures up to 28 Offers less than degree. For insect protection alone, the light Agribon AG-15 gives 90 percent light, but with less heat buildup, so it can remain in place in summer.

Next, choose a black or green woven shade cloth, which provides 30 to 50 percent shade.

Ms. Jabour’s third required: 6-mile greenhouse-quality plastic, UV-treated and rated for a four-year life span (although she gets six or seven years of use out of it). Garden centers can sell it with a walking leg, or you can order a roll with friends. Discard special greenhouse repair tape; Cheap clear packing tape is ok. “Just make sure to patch any holes on both sides,” Ms Jabbour said.

When you are not using your materials, bend and store them. But first, be sure to clean them, as accumulated dirt reduces light transmission. “I put the plastic down and wiped it off,” Ms Jabbor said. “And I hang clothes and put them down, or the machine washes them on a delicate one.”

Various materials set in hoops can cover the beds and support the cover. On Ms. Jabor’s four-foot-wide beds, 10-foot-length hoops rise one yard high in the center, depending on how deep the ends are buried.

Many gardeners start with a nine-gauge wire, which is more than enough to support a light cover for pest control or shade. Ms. Jabor said, “I use wire in the shoulder season or summer to float on stuff,” but not in winter. “

The half-inch PVC conduit is a step, at an easy 10-foot turn. Recently, Ms. Jabbor has been upgraded to a half-inch galvanized electrical conduit – the most durable support, although it requires pipe-bending equipment.

Supports the key of a tightening casing at half an inch: special greenhouse snap clamps for the job, about three for each hoop. In the event of wind or to keep insects out, the bottom edges must be buried with wood or rocks.

For the mini-tunnels from which she harvests carrots, Asian greens and other crops, Ms. Jabor rolls one-two sticks at the hem and raises the screws into the bedside.

“Even with those small screw holes in the ply,” she said, “I’ve been reusing it for years.”

To exclude spring frosts and keep insects out, keep your cover at the time of sowing or planting. “With the sow, you could wait,” Ms Jabbour said. “But hey, the extra heat can speed up germination and growth.”

One caveat: Cabbage worms, flea beetles, squash worms and other insects can overwinter in the soil at some life stages. Therefore, rotating the crop – moving to a new location in the garden every year, broccus, cucurbit or nightshade – should be combined with the use of row-cover. “Otherwise, it backfires, and you’re trapping the pests under cover with your favorite food,” she said.

Some crops require pollinator access to set fruit, so with cucurbits, for example, Ms. Jabbor removes the cover when the plant flowers. “Until then, they are usually strong enough to withstand a little insect pressure somehow,” she said.

Light clothing can discourage large pests such as rabbits, hyena or deer. You can also invest in bird netting or chicken wire as an extra-hard cover, which is also effective when birds, chipmunk or squirrels dig up seeds or uproot seedlings.

Ready to do something semi-permanent in under-cover mounting? make an attempt Cold frame, Ms. Jabbor suggested.

A cold frame is a versatile device – whether it is portable or partially buried in the ground, store-bought and made of polycarbonate or rot-resistant wood with a poly lid. “You can start seeds, care for transplanting, push the spring and fall, of half hardy plants and flower bulbs like Syrian and Greek thyme or even my artichokes. Pot of Force. “

Ms. Jabbor has several, and enough other gear to defend and expand her 20 raised beds, as well as a 14-by-24-foot poly tunnel for walking. And his clouches – an impressive collection, most of them plastic gallon water bottles with the bottles removed – are like individual greenhouses for tender implants.

A caution about assembling your own botanical garden tool kit: Each success can inspire you to take on another, more-elusive goal. Fig forest, anyone? Ms. Jabor’s in-laws certainly anticipate what lies ahead in the ongoing experiment.

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