Season Extenders

Sooner or later every backyard gardener will look for ways of extending the growing season. This is usually done by protecting the plants before and after the last spring frost and after the first frost in the fall. Devices such as cloches, hotkaps. grow tunnels, and cold frames all help you get an early start on your crops. The general purpose of all of these devices is to improve the climate right in your garden by trapping the warmth of the sun during the day and holding it around the plant and soil during the night. The daytime temperature will increase 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the plant to grow faster and escape the dangers of frosts at night. This will roughly double the plant's growth rate. Thus, corn that would have grown 1 inches tall in an unctmered row will shoot up 6 inches under protection.

Although cold frames are an excellent way of raising your plants for transplanting, they will probably be too small for extending all of your spring crops. You will need additional ways of extending directly in the garden. Cloches are usually small devices to cover individual plants, and grow tunnels cover entire rows. The simplest cloche is nothing more than a plastic gallon milk container with the bottom half removed. They can be pushed directly into the soil over the individual plant: plus, they have the added advantage of the cap. which can be removed to keep the plant from overheating.

A cone-shaped cloche 18 inches in diameter or larger can l>e nuide with fiberglass-reinforced plastic. It can be purchased or easily made yourself using polyethylene pulled over wooden supports. These larger cloches will give your plants more room to grow.

Crow tunnels are row covers made of lightweight synthetic fabrics. They cover entire rows of vegetables and provide more room than the smaller cloches. Row covers can improve the germination and accelerate growth . The boost from row covers is greatest for heat-loving crops. Four to six weeks into the season. it will be too hot under the covers for most plants, with the exceptions of melons and squash, and the fabric must be removed. 11 ut by this time your plants are well on their way. In the fall, the row covers can be replaced and again provide protection against those first few frosts, extending your season. He careful not to let your plants touch the cover; as frost settles on the fabric it will damage the part of the plant it touches.

Row covers are also an ideal way to control insects. Vegetables that are covered immediately after being sown or transplanted can grow virtually insect-free for as long as 6 weeks with no pesticides. The fabric not only keeps out foliage-eaters, such as the Colorado potato beetle, but also aphids and leaf hoppers that can spread a virus. They keep out loopers, flea beetles, and cucumber beetles, too. The only thing they do not keep out are those insects that winter in the soil. The warmth can bring out the squash-vine borers earlier, and you must keep a vigil so they don't devour your crop. Crop rotation is doubly important ij you use row covers.

One word of warning about row covers: Take off the blankets for pollination . You need the bees to pollinate your melons, cucumbers, and squash. Remove them soon after the female plants flower, when all of the plants are in bloom.

Season Extenders

When covered with clear plastic, this frame will act as a greenhouse.

VEGETABLE SOWING GUIDE

Indoor Sowing

Outdoor Sowing

Vegetable

Time Needed to Reach Transient Size

When to Transplant to the Garden

When to Sow Outdoors

Artichoke, Globe

6-8 weeks

Mid to late spring

After all danger of frost.

Asparagus

6—8 weeks

Mid to late spring

As early as possible in spring.

Beans, Fava

Not recommended

As early as possible in spring.

Beans, Lima

3-4 weeks*

After all danger of frost, when ground is warm

After all danger of frost when ground is warm; continue sowing until midsummer.

Beans, Shell

Not recommended

Sow after all danger of frost when ground is warm; for green shell beans, continue sowing until midsummer.

Beans, Snap

Not recommended

Sow after all danger of frost when ground is warm; continue sowing until midsummer.

Beets

Not recommended

As early in spring as possible; continue sowing until midsummer.

Broccoli

6 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost.

As early as possible in spring; in early summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Brussels Sprouts

8—10 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost; midsummer for fall crops

In early summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Cabbage

6-8 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost; mid to late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring; in early summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Carrots

Not recommended

As early as possible in spring; continue sowing until midsummer; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Cauliflower

6-8 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost; mid to late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring; in early summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Celery

10 weeks

Late spring to early summer

After last heavy frost for late summer-to-fall crops.

Chicory, for greens

4—5 weeks*

Mid spring on

As soon as possible in spring; resow every 2 weeks; fall in Zones 9 and 10.

'Optional, but normally direct sown outdoors.

NOTE: Some types of vegetables are best grown from roots, sets, "eyes" or plants. These include: garlic (sets), horseradish (roots), potatoes (eyes), shallots (sets) and sweet potatoes (plants). In addition to growing from seed, onions are often grown from sets or plants: rhubarb from roots.

'Optional, but normally direct sown outdoors.

NOTE: Some types of vegetables are best grown from roots, sets, "eyes" or plants. These include: garlic (sets), horseradish (roots), potatoes (eyes), shallots (sets) and sweet potatoes (plants). In addition to growing from seed, onions are often grown from sets or plants: rhubarb from roots.

Indoor Sowing

Outdoor Sowing

Vegetable

Time Needed to Reach Transplant Size

When to Transplant to the Garden

When to Sow Outdoors

Chicory, for roots

Not recommended

After danger of heavy frost (late spring to early summer). Dig roots in fall for indoor forcing.

Chinese Cabbage

4—5 weeks*

Mid spring: mid to late summer for fall crops

Mid to late summer for fall crops.

Col lards

4-5 weeks*

Mid spring: mid to late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops.

Com, Sweet

Not recommended

After all danger of frost when ground is warm: repeat sowing every 7 to 14 days until midsummer.

Cowpeas

Not recommended

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

Cress, Garden

Sow indoors year-round

Do not transplant: grow indoors

As early as possible in spring: mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Cucumbers

4 weeks

After all danger of frost

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

Endive

6-8 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Eggplant

8-10 weeks

After all danger of frost

Not recommended.

Kale

4-5 weeks*

Mid spring; mid to late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops.

Kohlrabi

3-4 weeks

Mid through late spring; mid to late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops.

Leeks

H-10 weeks

Mid spring

As early as possible in spring; in fall in Zones 9 anil 10.

Lettuce. Head

8-10 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Lettuce. Loosehead

4 weeks*

Mid spring; late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring; continue sowing every 2 weeks in spring; mid to late summer for lall crops.

Indoor Sowing

Outdoor Sowing

Vegetable

Time Needed to Reach Transplant Sizk

When to Transplant to the Garden

When to Sow Outdoors

Melons (Cantaloupe, Musk melon. Watermelon)

3-4 weeks

After all danger of frost

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

Mustard Greens

3-4 weeks*

Mid spring; late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring: mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Okra

4 weeks*

Late spring

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

Onions

6-10 weeks

Mid spring; stands some frost

As early as possible in spring.

Pak Choi

4 weeks*

Mid spring; mid to late summer for fall crops

As early as possible in spring: mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Parsnips

Not recommended

After danger of heavy frost.

Peas

Not recommended

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops.

Peppers

8-10 weeks

After all danger of frost

Not recommended.

Pumpkins

4 weeks

After all danger of frost

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

Radishes

Not recommended

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Rhubarb

6-8 weeks

Mid spring on

As soon as the ground can Ik- worked in spring.

Roquette

3-4 weeks*

Mid spring on

After all danger of frost.

Rutabaga

Not recommended

As soon as ground can be worked in spring; resow in midsummer for fall crops.

Spinach

4 weeks*

As early as possible in spring: mid to late summer for fall crops.

Spinach. Malabar

4-5 weeks*

Late spring on

After all danger of frost: early spring or late summer: fall in Zones 9 and 10.

Squash. Summer

4 weeks*

After all danger of frost

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

Squash. Winter

4 weeks*

After all danger of frost

After all danger of frost when ground is warm.

'Optional, hut normally direct sown outdoors.

NOTE: Some types of vegetables are I »est grown from roots, sets, "eyes" or plants. These include: garlic (setsl. horseradish Irootsl. potatoes (eyes), shallots (sets) and sweet potatoes (plants). In addition to growing from seed, onions are often grown from sets or plants: rhubarb from roots.

'Optional, hut normally direct sown outdoors.

NOTE: Some types of vegetables are I »est grown from roots, sets, "eyes" or plants. These include: garlic (setsl. horseradish Irootsl. potatoes (eyes), shallots (sets) and sweet potatoes (plants). In addition to growing from seed, onions are often grown from sets or plants: rhubarb from roots.

Indoor Sowing

Outdoor Sow ing

Vegetable

Time Needed to Reach Transi»i.ant Si/.e

When to Transplant to the Garden

When to Sow Outdoors

Swiss Chard

4—6 weeks*

Mid spring to midsummer

As early as possible in spring; continue sowing until midsummer.

Tomatoes

6-8 weeks

After all danger of frost

Fast-maturing standard varieties can be sown after danger of heavy frost or when ground is fairly warm. Otherwise, not recommended.

Turnips

Not recommended

As early as possible in spring; mid to late summer for fall crops; in fall in Zones 9 and 10.

There are even elaborate wooden pyramids. A fence of any kind makes a perfect support; stretch nylon mesh netting tightly between two poles at either end of the garden for vines to grow up. Or put several branches or bamboo poles together to grow vines in a teepee arrangement. If the teepee is covered with netting, the plants will grow all over it.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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