Saturday, October 03, 2015

Planting the winter garden!

We are a little late this year with our winter garden - the season just got away on us.  But yesterday we planted up the cold frame grow tunnel with winter hardy greens, and several days earlier the greenhouse bed was filled with new seeds as well.  We hope to have a good harvest of fresh greens from the greenhouse all winter long, and the grow tunnel will give us a head start in late winter with new greens coming up ahead of the rest of the garden.

We are always trying to experiment with stretching the growing season.  In our climate, we need to use hardy greens and vegetables for winter growing but it is definitely possible - not to mention the huge variety that we can provide.  Eliot Coleman suggests over 30 varieties to grow in the winter, as well as innovative planting methods, scheduling ideas and garden designs for winter, in his inspiring book The Winter Harvest Handbook.   There are the usual suspects - kale, chard, spinach, arugula - but then also many other interesting options such as mache, claytonia, cress, tat soi, mizuna, scallions, garlic greens, turnip greens, beet greens, hardy winter lettuces...

Yesterday we started with 3 kinds of spinach including a "winter spinach", wild arugula, mizuna, tat soi, 3 kinds of kale (red, green curly, and lacinato), hardy winter lettuces, beets and turnips for their leafy greens, mustard greens, mesclun mix.  The grow tunnel still has baby chard, kale, spinach, mustard, chives, oregano, red and green lettuces, and arugula already growing, so that is a nice head start.  We'll be keeping regular updates here on the status of the winter greenhouse and winter garden so please continue to read (and grow) this winter with us.

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