Fall and Winter Garden Design Class

Sharon June 11th, 2009

Way back when Aaron and I were putting together our Garden Design class, I had a bunch of requests for a class on cool season gardening/season extension/fall gardening.  Several people said “I do fine at getting the garden planted in April and May, but what I always have trouble with is figuring out how to plant for fall, extend the season, etc…”  And so I swore up and down that I would teach a fall garden class.

 Well, gack!  Someone emailed me to remind me and I suddenly realized that getting ready for fall garden begins, well, really soon - I’m still getting the summer garden in, for cripes sake, and I completely forgot about this.  But fortunately, the reminder came in time and I’m going to run a short class. The good thing about my rotten memory is this - for people gardening in zones 3-7, this will, to a large extent, be a real time project - the class won’t take place in real time, it will be run online with a participate-as-you can format as usual, but because the class will take place in July, for most people in that zone range, it should actually help them do things they should be doing more or less when they should be doing them - ie, we’ll actually all be putting our fall gardens together.  There will be some variation, of course, and everyone will have to adjust for their zone and light levels, but what should be really great about this class is that we can say “ok, now is the time to start those seedlings” - and it really is ;-).

 So if you’ve had trouble getting motivated, had trouble timing your crops to mature before the worst of the cold, never planted a fall garden or tried to extend your season or aren’t really sure what’s different about cool season gardening, this is the class for you.  We’ll talk about season extension techniques, about what to plant when and where and how to keep it going as long as possible, and basically cover everything we can about the process of keeping fresh veggies coming as long as possible, and also about ways to get prepared to start as soon as possible in the spring. Not all of us will be able to garden completely year-round, but we can get closer and closer.

The class will be a bit shorter than my other classes - the class will be run on Tuesdays for four weeks during July, from July 7-28.  As always the class is held entirely online, and you don’t have to be online at any particular time - I put up the week’s material and assignments on Tuesdays, but I’m also available by email at other times, and there’s an ongoing discussion group, so you can post at 3am on Friday night, and I’ll get back to you when I’m awake ;-).  Dial up is fine - the class does not require high speed internet.

 I think it is going to be a really fun class - I really loved teaching Garden Design this spring, and I think this is a natural corrollary, focusing on an issue a lot of us have - how to keep the garden momentum going as long as possible.  Besides, fall and winter gardening are fun - the bugs are gone, the weather is crisp and you want to cook again - what’s not to love!

 Cost of the class is $100.  Send me an email to reserve a spot, and I’ll send you all the details.  As always, I have a limited number of free spots that I hold for low-income participants who need the information but can’t otherwise afford a spot, and sometimes someone is kind enough to donate additional spaces.  Please email me if you are interested in a low income spot, with a little information about why you think you’d be an appropriate candidate.

Update: BTW, I’ve gotten several emails asking whether I’m going to run Adaping-In-Place again - the answer is yes, and fairly soon - August-Sept.  But Aaron and I are still working out all the details, so watch for more details very soon! 


3 Responses to “Fall and Winter Garden Design Class”

  1. homebrewlibrarianon 12 Jun 2009 at 5:44 pm

    I’m still trying to get the FIRST planting done!

    Well, when you have to wait until May to plant peas and the end of May to put out starts, the harvest season tends to start in late July. Not much time for succesion planting when the season ends towards the end of September.

    Cold frames might extend the season two to three weeks but by late October we’re seeing below freezing temperatures constantly. We’re also losing light at a rapid rate.

    My plan is to continue to start seeds under lights Jan-Apr then plant cold tolerant seeds in early May (peas, root vegies). Starts go out in late May. Without a heated greenhouse, I’m not sure how much extension I would get for the effort.

    But for those not living in the high latitudes, the class sounds great!

    Kerri in AK

  2. zucchinion 12 Jun 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Wondering if the class will still be applicable for me, down here in zone 9B. Obviously I won’t be able to use much of the knowledge right away. My spring garden is just about done, and will be “resting” while I do some soil solarization through all of July and most of August when it’s too hot here to grow much of anything. But then I’ve got a nice long stretch from September to our average first frost date on December 15th. Last fall’s garden (my very first) actually made it halfway through January before we had an actual freeze. So what do you think, Sharon? Would the information still be helpful for my delayed schedule?

  3. Susanon 12 Jun 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Zucchini, I would definitely recommend the class. Even with the different zone, all you have to do is a little research regarding average frost dates and so forth, and you’ll be set. I live in 8b and took the class…at first I didn’t think I really got anything out of it because I didn’t really participate like a lot of people did. Then, looking back at it, I really did, a lot more than I ever thought I would. I got inspired to be daring and to push the boundaries of what will grow here with a minimum of inputs and still do well….so far so good. Just to be able to bounce questions of such a variety of people and to read all the answers is invaluable in my opinion.

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