Despite the fact that it has been quite warm and summer like this week, fall is only about a week away and it is probably time to clean up your summer garden and begin to plant your fall crops. Really, many fall crops should already be planted at this time but if you haven’t gotten around to it yet there are still several things you can plant before it’s too late including greens such as kale, mustard, arugula, and swiss chard. The good news is, if you plan on using a low tunnel this season there is still time to plant a great variety of crops!

KC wrote a blog post several months ago detailing winter gardening methods that she learned from Cathy Rehmeyer at  the season extension workshop for St. Vincent Grow Appalachia, however I thought it would be timely to touch upon several of these ideas again. At our winter gardening workshop here at Pine Mountain last month Cathy shared a wealth of information that will be extremely helpful to our participants this season. Cathy’s main tool for extending the gardening season (and the thing our participants are most excited to try) is the use of low tunnels. Low tunnels are fairly inexpensive, very easy to construct, and can extend the gardening season into January and February (maybe even longer, depending on the weather).

Early this week Maggie and I helped one of our participants construct her first low tunnel, and it went up in a jiffy, now we just have to wait for the kale, swiss chard, carrots, and beets to get to growing!

Val and low tunnel 004

Making sure the low tunnel beds are weed free from the get go

A big thanks to Cathy Rehmeyer for the information and expertise that she shared with us, I highly recommend using her guide to building a low tunnel and her fall planting dates to help extend your gardenening season this year!