Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beneath The Snow...

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

As you saw in the previous post, winter has unofficially arrived here, about 13 days early. The temperature at 6 A.M. this morning was minus 2° F, while yesterday it was a bit warmer, 9° at 6 A.M.

However, snuggled beneath an insulating blanket of snow, a winter garden is alive and well.

This is one of two beds of cold-hardy greens we are growing this winter and we just covered them with 6 mil plastic about 10 days ago, at which time we also harvested a good amount of baby spinach and lettuce, and a bit of kale too.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Wildside said...

Very hopeful photo!

Thanks for visiting yesterday and adding your 2 cents, Jim.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Linda Navroth said...

Nice little greenhouse! You two have seemingly thought of everything!

Say--hows that big dirt pile coming along?


12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. This is our families goal for next winter, so I am gathering ideas and hope from you.


10:33 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Wildside, Linda, and Julie-

We've been growing hardy greens during the winter for several years, usually planting the seed in early to mid September. We have previously kept the seedlings covered with corrugated fiberglass panels until well established but this year we tried something a bit different with rabbit wire cages and a 6 mil plastic covering. This way we can uncover the plants when it gets warmer and still have protection from critters.

The plants will usually go dormant and stop growing during the very coldest weeks of the year, but will snap back to life as soon as the days get a bit longer and the soil warms up.

We might be harvesting greens at any time during winter, depending upon our unpredictable temperatures (it can be 75° here on a January day, or 16° below zero). By mid to late February we can usually uncover the plants again, and they'll grow right up through the snow after a string of sunny days.

We built the wire cages because we're having more of a problem with Ground Squirrels and birds, especially Starlings the past few years.

We also have rabbit wire beneath the raised beds to keep the gophers out. This way we don't have to use poisons or kill things.

We've had good results with these methods so far.

...and Linda, we're now calling the "big pile" the Matterhorn!


10:14 AM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

very impressed with your winter garden.

12:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.