586: Nikki Jabbour on Growing Under Cover.
Protecting gardens from cold weather and pests and extending growing seasons.
In This Podcast:
An intriguing conversation on how to garden year-round in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Niki Jabbour illustrates her growing techniques that she claims to be a ‘game-changer’ in her garden. Niki describes the different types of crop covers used for various plants that can allow you to garden during winter as well as maintaining resilience against pests. She also emphasizes the importance behind creating microclimates in her space to produce the best tasting vegetables.
Niki is the author of four books on food gardening including The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and Growing Under Cover. She’s also a two-time winner of the prestigious American Horticultural Society Book Award. Niki writes for newspapers and magazines and has hosted a weekly radio show for the past 14 years. Growing Under Cover, her latest book focuses on techniques for a more productive, weather-resistant, pest-free vegetable garden. Nikki gardens in zone 5B in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Has about 20 raised beds, assorted cold frames, and a polytunnel in her garden. She harvests year round without adding heat by using garden covers like row covers, shade cloth, mini hoop tunnels, cold frames, a 14 by 24 foot polytunnel and deep mulching. Her techniques not only allow her to enjoy a year-round harvest but they reduce pests. They also create a microclimate around her plants which allows growing heat loving veggies in a short season climate.
Listen in and learn about:
- Why are her growing methods a ‘game-changer’ when it comes to resilience against pests of all sizes
- Why does she consider garden covers to be ‘garden insurance’
- What is the difference in crop covers for different plants
- What are the various pests that she protects her plants against
- How does she prevent deer from eating her vegetables
- What are polytunnels
- How is Niki able to harvest vegetables all winter long
- What is the growing season in Nova Scotia
- What is the best barrier for beginning gardeners to use
- The importance in having a ‘south-facing’ garden
- What is her secret behind getting 8 hours of sunlight on her garden during winter
- What does Niki mean when she says “Nova Scotia is all organic”
As well as:
Her failure – Growing vegetables not indigenous to the region and the bees avoided pollinating those plants
Her success – Having the ability to garden year round in the cold region of Nova Scotia
Her drive – The satisfaction from growing different varieties of vegetables to feed her family
Her advice – “If your new to gardening, start small; always try to grow something new every year.”
Books written by Niki:
Niki’s Book recommendations:
How to reach Niki:
Some of the links in our podcast show notes and blog posts are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, we will earn a nominal commission at no cost to you. We offer links to items recommended by our podcast guests and guest writers as a service to our audience and these items are not selected because of the commission we receive from your purchases. We know the decision is yours, and whether you decide to buy something is completely up to you.