Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Preparing for Winter Harvest

New book on our shelf that is very useful these days...Eliot Coleman's The Winter Harvest Handbook (deep organic techniques for the 21st century)...

We're working on the fall-winter garden plan so that we'll be able to have greens for harvest (with luck) until the spring. Yesterday I planted four flats of greens (red and green lettuce varieties, mizuna, kale) and more to come in the next week - I'd still like to plant mache which is a traditional European hardy winter green. I decided to plant in flats rather than directly into the ground as it will be easier to water and monitor the seedlings this way (not to mention keeping away the pesky squirrels in our yard who dig up all new seeds that get sown). Once the seedlings are ready for transplant they are going into our cold frame (a garden raised bed covered with plastic over PVC pipe tubing), as well as the greenhouse where we have growing beds directly in the ground. Eliot Coleman uses both a floating row cover right on his rows of seedlings, as well as moveable plastic hoop houses that he can simply pull over his garden rows when cooler weather arrives. It's a simple, but ingenious method.

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