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with Bill Thorness
Online Class

The Extended Harvest

Vegetables for Every Season
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Discover the secrets behind the extended harvest with master gardener Bill Thorness as your guide. First, learn about regional climates throughout the United States and pinpoint the techniques and plants that will thrive in yours. Then, select the right spot for your cold-weather garden and get tips on cost-effective wind barriers and raised beds to keep your plants warm. Grow your strongest plants yet with Bill’s compost recipes and get his tips for working with worm bins. Plus, build healthy soil year round by adding sheet mulch, planting cover crops and more. Next, find out how to keep your soil warm and create microclimates that support individual plants. Then, build cloches, cold frames and more to protect your vegetables from the elements, and learn how to care for plants in your new structures. Finally, get a thorough overview of your extended-season options whether caring for a modest indoor garden or a gorgeous greenhouse.


  • intermediate
  • 7 episodes
  • 2h41m

Included in this Class

1. Conquering the Calendar

1. Conquering the Calendar

Meet your instructor, author and master gardener Bill Thorness, as you whet your appetite for hearty year-round vegetables. Bill introduces you to various regional climates in the U.S., shows you how to use a calendar to extend your harvest, and suggests a variety of cool-weather plants to consider.

2. Site Selection

2. Site Selection

Discover the best ways to select a site, evaluate and enhance your yard conditions and nurture your plants throughout the fall and winter seasons. Bill shows you how to play detective as you look for clues in your garden that indicate good sun exposure, protection from wind and prime soil conditions. Next, he shares ways to create simple, cost-effective wind barriers and raised beds that help absorb heat.

3. Building the Soil

3. Building the Soil

Now that you've established your growing season and mapped out the best site for your plants, it's time to maximize the composition of your soil. Bill shares his vast knowledge of compost as he demonstrates how to make a nutrient-rich mixture that will help you fortify plants year-round, and won't attract unwanted pests. You'll gain confidence as you practice compost recipes, make your own worm bins and learn other soil-building techniques like sheet mulching and planting cover crops.

Recommended with this class

  • Fertilizers: commercial fertilizer, compost and/or mulch (compost recipes and mulch techniques are shared in class)
  • Plastic sheets 4-6 mm in thickness (to be used as solarizing sheets or to cover cloches) and clamps, pins, stones or similar to anchor sheets
  • Construction materials for raised beds, polytunnels, cloches, cold frames or similar (optional; specific construction techniques and materials are covered in class)