Sunday, October 30, 2011

Winter vegetable gardening

I'm planning on winter greens this year.  Yes, I've already planted kale and collards (as well as broccoli and brussel sprouts), but I'd like to try to carry over some less hardy winter greens (lettuce, spinach and mustards) with a bit of protection, especially in the piedmont, where woodchucks and squirrels like to be herbivorous.

In some years, winter vegetables are easier, but the last two winters have been unusually cold, apparently due to arctic air flowing south as the arctic regions themselves are warmer.  Hmmm.

After trying to figure out how best to provide the small-scale protection needed (think low hoop tunnels, etc.) in the satellite garden, while still looking half-way decent and not requiring carpentry skills that I don't have, I realized that I can use my vinyl-coated tomato cages, fastened with 'earth staples' and covered with plastic to create nice rectangle-shaped protection.  Aha!

satellite garden beds ready to plant/cold frame with greens and leek seedlings
The beds are ready now, after dispatching the (almost) last of the tomato vines, and I'm ready to plant tomorrow late afternoon!

2 comments:

  1. Lisa,
    We did just fine last winter with all the greens you mentioned. Our simple boxes are 6 x 8, we use 1/2 pvc pipe 10 foot long. At 6 foot it bends perfectly over the 6 ft side. We attached with 3/4 conduit straps and just slipped in the pvc pipe. Then stapled on the plastic and draped the end and secured with scrap lumber.

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  2. I can't do winter veggies, but I have always prided myself on being able to go out to the garden and pick Thanksgiving Brussels sprouts. This year the deer came right up to the house and ate the foliage and I got out to the garden as the snow fell to rescue the rest from the deer.

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