I like to try to maximize the amount of time my garden is in production. I do this by using two methods. The first is to plant cold tolerant crops like kale, broccoli, spinach and other hardy vegetables. The second method is to extend the growing season by using season extending techniques like cold frames, cloches, row cover and low tunnels.
This fall and early winter has been milder than in past years and has been great for cold season vegetables. I planted 16 “Premium Crop” broccoli seedlings in in early September with hopes of harvesting fresh broccoli for Christmas Day dinner. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
As the picture shows, I picked both kale and broccoli on Christmas day. To extend my broccoli harvest, I covered the broccoli which is a little less cold tolerant than kale with a low tunnel made out of half inch PVC and a plastic sheet. The plastic retains heat, just like a greenhouse. It worked like a charm and in fact is still working.