Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19, 2008

Today's post is about my latest tour around the garden.  But after a long day of mostly nothing, I am going to jump right in to save time.

Here is where my neglected garden is hanging out these days.  The twist ties deflintely don't hold up to winter storms, so I have stopped bothering to fix the top bar.  Until the weather improves and I have a good hour to kill outdoors, I won't drill the holes and afix the bolts.

And the reason why it's neglected is shown in the pictures below.  I had hoped that several of the plants would have bounced back from the sub freezing temperatures before Christmas, but this is the cauliflower in bed #3.

Yeah, I don't see anything either.  If I'm not mistaken, the stalks are actually nibbled on.  Now let's move on to bed #2.

These translucent leaves used to be my radish bed.

And this is the back of the bed.  Sure I need to clean out the freezer burned leaves, but the new growth on the top doesn't look so good either.  But wait, look close...

Yep, those leaves are munched something fierce.  It looks like those coons came back for seconds.  And I thought they'd eaten all there was to eat last year.  Apparently not.  Note to self, buy more deterrant next time you're at the store.

Ok, final bed.  Let's hope the lettuce is holding out.

Nope, more carnage here too.  Look at the mature lettuce that I'd hoped would bounce back in the 45-50 degree weather we've been having.

Nada.  Well, at least the succession lettuce didn't look too bad.

Of course it hasn't grown at all in two months.  I had hoped it would be ready for February harvest.  It's not looking good Mr. Solomon. hehe

Also note the green all over the dirt.  It's moss, I know.  But over at my buddy EG's blog (see the blogroll for a link), he notes today that he's got some in his propogation chamber and it's caused by condensation. Ok, I buy that, it's likely the same reason inside my hoop covers. Though I've got pretty good ventilation out the front and back since the wind disturbed the loosly bunched plastic under bricks.  I just hope that like he says, the sun will kill it once I take the hoop covers off sometime in Aprilish. hehe

Well, I hope this clears up what's happened to my first foray into four season gardening.

Enjoy your garden or your garden plans for spring...


  1. Well, as Mr. Solomon wrote, "the season no longer suits them". That about sums it up. He also notes that unusual cold spells, like we just had, are likely to mess things up, especially in high, raised beds like yours that are more exposed to freezing. I think it also helps *alot* to have a wide-open exposure during the winter, to capture every conceivable bit of light. That all being said, I still think growing vegetables in our winter is a waste of time. However, harvesting vegetables from the ground that were grown from Summer thru Fall is very doable. Although I have not managed that with carrots so far, I have managed with Rutabagas very well and Kohlrabi as well. I'm sure there's plenty other cold-tolerant crops. However, it's not really 4-season gardening, cuz I'm basically just storing them in-place in the garden. I really *love* the hard-shelled winter squashes for the reason that I can eat them all thru the winter and long beyond, stored in my garage.

  2. So, do you feel this suggests that you need a heat source for the coldframe? I've been thinking about the heating pad as a possible option? I looked up what the energy cost would be, and one source suggested the cost would be $2.50/month to run it 24 hrs. We'd really only need it during December and January. In our area, it would definitely save money if I could get 4-5 salads a month. A head of regular green leaf is going for $2 down here, and that's locally grown. I can find iceburg for a bit less, but we like romaine/green/red leaf better. What's your thoughts?

  3. Bummer.....Oh well, the crazy weather hopefully will be normal this year. I certainly hope so! Now, you can get ready for the next planting. :-)


  4. Tim: I think I needed to plant my fall/winter harvest garden in late July next year to make sure it was harvestable until the first deep freeze hits, assuming we get another one. This was an experiment that didn't go so well. Of course I read Mr. Solomon's book after I had planted all this, timing is everything. I'll also buy some really cold weather greens like mache and arugula, maybe even chard, hehe.

    Carolynp: I wonder if a heat pad would creat enough radient heat to warm up the hoop cover. Of course maybe I'll pull an EG and build a cold frame as I suggest. Not sure, after renovating my folks place I may not have the motivation. Worth looking into though.

    EG: Aye, now I can focus on planting early spring crops, al-la wintersowing, and starting seeds indoors once the light set-up is done. I will likely consolidate into one bed and take the rest of the hoops down to save the plastic for another season. Maybe put it back up late winter to start early. Lots of options.

  5. You must have had some pretty cold weather to do that damage. I think the main problem with fall & winter veggies is the light sucks. The cloud combined with shorten day light just makes the plants shut down. My fall crops were a big poo-poo as well.

    I had moss like that growing in my beds this summer because it was such a wet season. I fluffed up the soil and it subsided some what.