Extending a Short Growing Season

I checked the Farmer’s Almanac and our average last frost is June 19th and the average first frost is August 23rd. Fortunately for my husband I did not check the almanac until after we moved here, otherwise he would be geo-baching it!

I do a couple of things to work around our short growing season. First, I try to grow rugged, cold hardy plants whenever possible. Second, I grow plant varieties that mature quickly. Finally, I start seeds indoors in my little makeshift greenhouses. During the winter I buy organic baby lettuce by the pound; I save the lettuce containers and turn them into mini-greenhouses. I save yogurt containers to use as planters. I also save the plastic candy boxes from Trader Joe’s and use them as an all-in-one planter/greenhouse. You can see how I make my mini-greenhouses in this tutorial.

extending a short growing season with mini-grenhouses

Once the seeds have sprouted and the weather has warmed a bit I move the baby plants to a small, portable greenhouse outside to harden them off. The greenhouse is on wheels, so I can move it into the garage when we have a cold snap.

extending a short growing season - slowly harden off seedlings before transfering to the garden Once the plants have acclimated to the outdoors I move them to the raised garden beds . Some of the plants, like tomatoes, have to stay in the greenhouse until all danger of frost has passed. For those plants I transplant them to bigger pots when they out grow the yogurt containers.


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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.

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