Time to start thinking about your winter garden

Wait?  What did he just say?  Winter garden?  But it’s not even August yet?

Yes that’s right it’s time to start thinking hard about your winter garden if you live in Zones 4-7.  August 1st is the target time to start planting seeds outdoors, in my zone 5/6 garden, if I want a good harvest of winter crops.

I had the fun chance to teach a local garden club about fall and winter gardening last night.  I had a great group of about 20 local gardeners.  I just had a blast, everyone was really interested in the topic and asked ton’s of great questions.  Thanks guys for a fun evening.  Of course I took my camera but then forgot to take pictures!!

Teaching the class got me thinking hard about what we want to accomplish with our fall and winter garden this year.  Some of my goals include growing a lot more mache and spinach.  Both are staples for the winter garden and I want a bigger crop of both this year.

One of the first things I did when I set up this blog a year ago was to write a series of 9 posts on winter gardening.  Back then my reader base was pretty small.  Now there’s a lot more of you so if you all can forgive the repeats I’m going to re-post all of the winter garden series over the next couple of weeks to help us all get ready for the cold weather season.

The first step for all of you is to get some planning done.  Where are you going to plant your winter garden?  What types of veggies do you want to grow?  Are you going to use a hoop house or a cold frame?  Take some time to figure that out this weekend so that as the August 1st deadline approaches your ready.

Another good idea is to get some reading done on winter gardening.  I recommend two books to learn more about year round gardening.  The first is the bible for year round gardeners, “Four-Season Harvest” by Eliot Coleman.  Mr. Coleman is the leading expert on four-season gardening and this is a must have book if you interested in growing all year long.  The Second is a new book just released earlier this year.  “The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener” by Niki Jabbour takes a less technical approach and is a little more down to earth than Mr. Coleman’s book.  On top of that it is loaded with beautiful pictures and descriptions of real year round gardens.  Both books are available through Amazon and you can get to them from the links on the side bar on Stoney Acres.  I will do a more detailed review of each book as the season progresses.

For those of my readers who are here local in the Salt Lake City area I will be building cold frames for others again this year.  The picture above is an example of what they will be like.  The cost is $250.00 if you are interested drop me a email at rick@ourstoneyacres.com and let me know.  I figure I can build about 10 or so this year and I already have 4 on the list.  So let me know fairly soon.


  1. April July 20, 2012 3:20 pm Reply

    Great class last night! I really enjoyed it and am currently making my plan. I forgot to ask about cilantro. Would this be an ideal time to grow it and is it too late to start from seed?


    • Rick July 20, 2012 3:41 pm Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the class last night. I don’t have any experience growing cilantro but Niki Jabbour’s book touches on it briefly. It looks like if you plant in early fall you can over winter in a cold frame.

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