As a gardener, I believe one of the goals of many people is to be able to create an all-season garden. For many newbies, spring and summer would be the main season for planting thus giving up the rest of the year in the garden. But many hardy plants will grow better in the fall and winter.
Trying to garden year-round not only gives you more experience in planting but also creates a deeper connection with nature. With a little time and patience plus the right greenhouse kit, you can keep your home growing productive all year round.
（Quictent large greenhouse）
Preparing for a year-round vegetable garden
Suitable garden soil
Soil types have a huge impact on planting, which determines how you will fertilize and water, Mollisol, Loam, and Alfisol are some of the most suitable soil types for planting. They have in common that they are rich in nutrients and moist as well as soft. Even if these soils are not available at your location, you can adjust the soil yourself to the best condition for growing vegetables.
Suitable garden soil should contain organic matter as well as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can use leaves and vegetable scraps that are commonly found in your home to compost. After that it is better to test the pH of the soil, a value between 6 and 7 is more appropriate.
Tools needed for year-round gardens
- Gloves. Gardening can get your hands dirty and hidden branches can scratch your hands. That's why thick gardening gloves are a must.
- Garden cart. For a year-round vegetable garden, a garden cart can help you transport a lot of items as you plant, transplant, and harvest. Saves time and labor.
- Garden rake. Year-round vegetable gardens need to be maintained with a rake to help you tidy up the ground.
- Pruning shears. Help you trim the branches, but you need to pay attention to your common hand when buying. It will be more convenient to use afterward.
- Garden hose. A hose that allows you to easily and quickly end your watering job would be a better choice than a sprinkler with limited capacity. Besides watering it can also be used for backyard cleaning, summer entertaining, and other activities.
Spring and summer vegetable garden
In early spring, you can start planting in March some vegetables such as radishes, peppers, etc. after the last frost. These vegetables are very easy to grow and are suitable for the warm weather of early spring. To create a year-round garden, it is helpful to know what is suitable for each season.
Vegetables that grow well in the warm season
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes can be grown as early as March and are one of the vegetables that are perfect for spring and summer. It has the characteristic of being heat resistant. And since there are so many different types of tomatoes, you can plant different varieties in your garden to cope with different weather conditions. Tomatoes need shelves to support their growth, and it is best to space each plant 3 feet apart to ensure adequate space.
- Eggplant. It will grow rapidly between 70 and 90 ºF. Eggplant needs soil rich in organic matter, so it is best to start composting before planting to add fertility to the soil. It is predicted that the ripe eggplant can be harvested in 3 to 4 months, and a quick harvest will make it more productive.
- Carrots. Carrot root system into the soil deep, suitable for fertile loose sandy loam, well-drained soil cultivation. Before sowing, you should plow deeply and apply sufficient base fertilizer. Carrots are relatively drought tolerant, especially in their leaf growth period to properly control the water, there is a need for appropriate soil cultivation. If the seeds are sown from late August to mid-September, then the harvesting period is in November-December. When planting, water the seeds first, then sow and cover the soil.
- Broccoli. Broccoli is very cold and heat tolerant and can be planted in March and harvested in June. It does not require much light at the beginning, but it likes plenty of light during the growth process for the plant to grow robustly. It does not require too much watering in the early stages. During the flower bulb formation period, the soil needs to be kept moist with timely watering.
- Corn. Can be sown from March to May and harvested three months later. It needs full sunlight, water, and fertile, loose, and well-drained soil to grow. When the seedlings grow taller, give them a fertilizer application. This will help it grow and also promote it is flowering and fruiting. It also needs daily watering to keep it hydrated during the growing season.
（Warm season vegetables）
Fall and winter vegetable garden
By continuing to plant in the fall and winter, you will find that there will be fewer pests than in the spring and fall. This makes your planting process much easier. The first thing you need to do for your fall and winter vegetable garden is to choose hardier crops.
Secondly, the best time to plant is late summer and early fall to allow enough time for the crops to grow. This way you will be able to have fresh vegetables in the winter as well.
Vegetables that grow well in the cold season
- Lettuce. Its seeds are phototropic and must be placed in a lighted area after sowing. The lack of sunlight will greatly reduce the germination rate of the seeds. Lettuce is not drought tolerant, and reduced moisture will also affect the taste of lettuce, and the topsoil should be watered promptly when it becomes dry. Each lettuce needs to be spaced 6 inches apart to facilitate growth.
- Asparagus. Seeds need to be soaked a day in advance before sowing. Asparagus needs light and soil with good drainage conditions. During the growing season, it is important to regularly repair any weeds in the area to avoid the entanglement of the roots. In winter, the plants need to be covered with mulch to avoid the severe cold. The asparagus will be ready for harvest in two to three weeks.
- Peas. Peas are a four-season vegetable, so they can be grown all year round. Like tomatoes, they need a support frame to help them grow, and it is best to arrange the seeds in two parallel lines. Once they have germinated, they do not need to be watered frequently unless the soil is dry. They are ready for harvest in three months.
- Onions. Onion is very easy to grow, just plant it with the roots facing downwards into the potting soil. Its roots are very shallow, so it needs long periods of water supply, and if it is grown in the soil it is essential to keep the soil moist. Onions have a short growing time and can be harvested in just a few weeks.
- Potatoes. Bury the potato tubers in the prepared soil. Space one about 6-8 inches or so apart. Then cover with soil, water thoroughly, and place in a sunny, warm place. When the temperature is too low, cover the seeding container with plastic wrap to keep it warm and moist. Unless it is in a particularly dry place, watering once every ten days or so will be enough. Finally, when the potatoes' leaves turn yellow and fall off, you can start digging them up.
（Cold season vegetables）
For better vegetable growth, I recommend using a raised garden bed. It keeps the soil warm and has better water retention, making it ideal for year-round vegetable gardens.
A year-round garden can be an incredible source of relaxation and contentment, as gardening reduces stress and promotes focus.
In short, starting a year-round garden is a great way to promote healthy living and add to your gardening experience. Anyone can start a garden, regardless of their level of experience or location. So, why not start your year-round garden today?