Monday, November 22, 2010

Tucking in the Root Crops for Winter

With frigid temperatures in the forecast, I thought it would be a good idea to get up to the garden on Friday afternoon and cover the remaining celeriac and garden carrots with a thick layer of shredded leaves. I dumped a big garbage bag of leaves on top of each of these small beds, mounding it up over and around the sides for maximum protection. Then, I topped each bed with a floating row cover to keep the leaves from blowing away. Plus, the cover offers a bit more insulation. I usually use my old row covers for this, as it doesn't matter so much if they already have a few tears or rips. Mind you, you can also use a sheet of chicken wire, landscape fabric or an old blanket. No need to be fancy here!

To secure the row covers, you can use rocks, logs, garden staples (pieces of wire bent in a 6-inch long U-shape) or even grommets. I used rocks, but I also picked up a package of black plastic grommets from Lee Valley that I thought I'd try.. I'll keep you posted on the grommet situation..

I also covered the row cover mini hoop tunnels with a layer of 6-mil greenhouse poly. The plastic is currently roughly secured with logs and rocks, but the hubby has been working on some homemade PVC clamps to tightly secure the plastic to the 1/2-inch PVC ribs. They should be ready in a day or so and then I can 'winterize' the hoop tunnels.. I'll be glad when that's done..

As you can see, I've had this simple hoop tunnel secured with giant clothespins and clamps.. It's been pretty effective though, but I'll clamp it down tightly over the next few days. Underneath, there are 1-foot wide rows of arugula, mixed Asian mustards and mizuna, baby spinach and some mache scattered throughout. I don't usually put a mini hoop tunnel in this garden, but I really want to enjoy these crops into winter.

It was pretty darn cold and windy yesterday afternoon, but I knew I had some work to do in the garden. So, I dressed warm and went up, grumbling a bit to myself. Yet, when I started puttering around it was so rejuvenating to just be able to still work in the garden that I didn't even notice the cold. I was even disappointed when the darkness drove me back inside.. I love being a year round veggie gardener!

Happy Gardening!

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