I am a year-round vegetable gardener.I take pride in that.But it's no big deal really.I live in Atlanta.Winters rarely get cold enough for snow to even stick around (on those rare times we even get any).
And then there's Niki Jabbour.She's the real year-round vegetable gardener.She easily earned that badge of honor by actually doing it from one of the most unlikely of places,Halifax,Nova Scotia.The first frost of the year shows up about mid-October,and the last is typically mid-May.
Niki harvests fresh produce from her garden 365 days a year.She also wrote the book on it.Literally.
Her book,The Year-round Vegetable Gardener,is entering its eighth printing,with over 90,售出000册。That's a remarkable feat for nearly any book – especially one on vegetable gardening in the winter.
I've admired Niki and her work for a number of years and am proud to call her a friend.A few years ago,she really got serious with her year-round vegetable garden by adding 20 large raised beds to an area of her property cleared for just that purpose.
And we have been the benefactors ever since.Niki shares her experiences in her book,on social media,her radio show,and on her website,that she co-founded along with Amy Andrychowicz,杰西卡·沃利瑟和塔拉·诺兰。
For this conversation,I wanted to know all the details about her new year-round vegetable garden,延长季节的技巧和诀窍，how to harvest in winter,what are her toughest 澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比plants,and biggest pest and disease challenges.
The following is a summary of our conversation.If you want all the great flavor that goes along with it,be sure to listen to the 澳门威廉希尔podcast.
There's no one else like Niki to offer so many takeaways no matter how short the conversation.
About Niki's Garden
Niki's garden is 2,000 square feet from 20 raised beds.Each bed is made from 2×8-inch weather resistant,本地采购，untreated hemlock,stacked two boards high,making them 16-inches tall.Each bed is either 4 x 8 or 4 x 10-ft long.The boards and 2-inches wide.
每层土壤由尼基原花园70%的现有土壤组成。The remaining ingredients consist of a mixture of shredded leaves,aged manure,堆肥,seaweed (she lives close to the ocean) and some purchased organic soil along with coffee grounds,and veggie scraps.
Worst Pest Problems
Niki deals with the usual cast of characters that come to her garden uninvited.Deer,aphids,squash bugs,cucumber beetles,slugs and more.
Her best method ofpest control(besides an electric deer fence) is to remain proactive to keep ahead of the problem.Hand pick and squish,diatomaceous earth and row covers are her go to control options of choice.
Where she lives,the winter kills many of thedisease issuesmost of us deal with.Even so,Niki relies on a generous layer of mulch in all her garden beds as key to prevention.For any surprises,she takes care of any problem as soon as it's identified to try and stay one step ahead.
Niki's Tips for Extending the Season
Timing is everything– Grow the right crops at the right time.Niki divides her growing strategy into three seasons: warm (summer),cool (spring and fall),寒冷（冬天）。
Niki knows no shortage of options for her cold season garden.She typically grows about 30 types of crops in winter.The key is proper timing for 澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比planting.Carrot seeds are sown in early August,with heading crops such as broccoli and cauliflower a bit later,and leafy crops such as spinach and lettuce all the way into October.
Mulch magic– Fall is a great time of year to gather up leaves for deep mulching.Straw works well too.Either is piled high at around 18"but settles quickly to about 12".
Don't worry about covering foliage.On top of mulch,Niki adds an old bed sheet or row cover to hold mulch in place.Finally,a bamboo stake or stick to mark the bed when snow covers the area helps guide you to the buried treasure.
Mini hoop tunnels– Niki uses both PVC and metal conduit but is slowly converting to all conduit due to its durability and longevity.A metal pipe bender purchased from Johnny's Seeds makes the job easy.
A clear top and south-facing position allow cold frames to provide the perfect environment for many of the lower growing crops including carrots,beets,羽衣甘蓝，endive,spinach,arugula,mustard,等。
Sides are made from wood or straw bales and completed with a clear top.Old windows or doors work,but glass is not recommended for obvious reasons.Instead,polycarbonate is a nice lightweight option that has excellent insulating properties.
购买装备或自己做。Either way,they're very easy to make.Just find a good spot that offers plenty of light.
Venting is important.Niki errs on over-venting.Anything over 40 degrees,she opens her cold frames during the day.Conditions that are too hot promote"soft growth"which is easily damaged in winter.Once cold settles in for good,她把它们关着。
Bulletproof Winter Crops
Some cold-season crops seem to defy any challenges Mother Nature throws at them.In fact,some such edibles don't taste their best until they've been exposed to several below freezing nights.
Here are some of the easiest to grow:
- 羽衣甘蓝，(seed catalogs give good clues to winter hardiness)
- Mache (澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比plant it once and it keeps coming back.Ridiculously cold tolerant and hard to find at farmer's market so very worth growing)
What to do in fall:
- Start seeds indoors in mid to late summer to trans澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比plant into garden beds.Purchased seedlings for fall and winter crops are often hard to source at local garden centers.
- Sow seeds of spinach,arugula,羽衣甘蓝，等。Cover in a week or two in a plastic hoop tunnel and forget about it.In March,you'll have a bed full of harvestable greens and a huge jump on the spring season.
What to do now:
- 澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比Plant quick growing root crops (baby beets,turnips,radishes,etc.)
- Start gathering material now for deep mulching in a couple of weeks
- Build a mini hoop tunnel
- Plan for next season
- Look over seed catalogs
- Build new beds
尼基分享了一些关于不要感受到增长压力的最终建议。There's no shame in not growing what you don't enjoy.With so many options to buy from farmers' markets instead,grow what you love.It's much easier and more enjoyable.
Links & Resources
The Year-round Vegetable Gardener book:90，000 copies sold!Great growing tips and timing on when to 澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比plant no matter where you live.A must-have!!
Groundbreaking Food Gardens:A collection of tips or topics on ways to grow edibles no matter what your space challenges may be
Veggie Garden Remix(238 new 澳门赔率和威廉希尔对比plants to shake up your garden for variety,flavor,and fun): alternative to the old favorites (Releasing 2/6/18)
Savvy Gardeningwebsite co-founded by Niki
Book links are affiliate links