Gardeing Year-Round: 5 Tips for Growing Food in All Four Seasons

All-Season Gardening

This article will show you how it is possible to garden year-round. You may not think it at first, but you can have fresh, healthy produce even through the winter!

However, there are several ways to extend the season and keep your garden productive with hardy leafy greens and root crops surviving the chilly winter weather. 

You can employ essential techniques for preserving your crops through frost and low temperatures by doing the following:

  1. Use Low Tunnels to Extend Your Season
  2. Protecting Your Winter Plants
  3. Selecting the Right Cool-Weather Crops
Rouyament Abbey Gardens by Yann Monel

Use Low Tunnels to Extend Your Season

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Parisian market gardeners continued to grow throughout the winter to keep tables in France stocked with fresh produce.

Without reliance on petroleum-based technology to fuel their growth, the French relied on green manures and animal manures to keep their crops warm during the winter. Horse manure, for instance, allowed them to continually fertilize their small plots for maximum efficiency (the gardens may be gone now, but you can still see the markets here).

Four-Season Gardening with Eliot Coleman


We have lost many of these techniques and tips for growing crops in winter conditions. Fortunately however, Eliot Coleman, a market gardener in Harborside, Maine, revived these organic farming methods in the 1990s. Since then, he has advocated for four-season growing and has inspired and motivated growers to extend their growing seasons.

His books, specifically, "The Winter Harvest Handbook"  and "Four-Season Harvest" are great resources for those wishing to garden year-round.



After careful observation and experimentation, Eliot noticed that many winter vegetables were more sensitive to temperature changes than the seasonal reduction in the sun's irradiance (a measure of the sun's radiation, measured in watts per square meter).

By focusing on low-cost methods to raise the soil and air temperature, he was able to get two extra seasons of growing (fall and winter).

After experimenting with various solutions, he invented a two-layer low tunnel hoop house solution that is economical and easy to set up for your raised beds.

How to Build a Low Tunnel

Rouyament Abbey Gardens by Yann Monel

Protecting Your Winter Plants

Selecting the Right Cool-Weather Crops

This article will show you how it is possible to garden year-round. You may not think it at first, but you can have fresh, healthy produce even through the winter!

However, there are several ways to extend the season and keep your garden productive with hardy leafy greens and root crops surviving the chilly winter weather. 

You can employ essential techniques for preserving your crops through frost and low temperatures by doing the following:

  1. Use Low Tunnels to Extend Your Season
  2. Protecting Your Winter Plants
  3. Selecting the Right Cool-Weather Crops
When asked to define permaculture, Bill Mollison once gave a very broad yet simple meaning:

"Permaculture is a set of permanent systems for persistent human existence."
BILL MOLLISON

Dig Deeper

We've given a webinar entitled, "What is Permaculture?" in the past.  Unfortunately, we were unable to record the entire webinar. 

Click the video below to view the tail-end of that webinar.  



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