I took advantage of some relatively warm temperatures last week to work outside and in the greenhouse. I’ve done quite a few things already to get the garden ready for winter, but there were a few more that needed to be done. And with an arctic cold front due to arrive over the weekend, it seemed like a good thing to take advantage of the warm weather while I could.
One thing I did was to work on weeding, planting and re-covering the cold frame beds. I replanted one bed where basil had been growing all summer. The basil is long gone, so it was time to get that space back to work on growing something else. I had some spinach seedlings ready for transplanting, so I set out plants of Giant Winter and another heirloom variety I’m trying this year called Amsterdam Prickly Seeded. The plants are still small but they should make it through the winter all right and give us some fresh spinach early next year. That bed also had a few parsley plants that I left growing, as they will continue to produce until they bolt to flower next spring.
I already have one cold frame bed planted with spinach, but it’s a great crop for overwintering and we use all I can grow. I’ve got Giant Winter and Viroflay planted in that bed. Some of these plants were started in the greenhouse and transplanted into the bed about a month ago, and the rest was direct seeded about the same time. I had some direct seeded spinach there that I sowed back in September, but I lost most of it after a rainy spell in October drowned it out. Fortunately I had extra seedlings from what I started for the greenhouse beds. Some of the leaves might be big enough for salads soon. We still have some in the freezer from the spring harvest, but it’s always nice to have fresh spinach.
One other cold frame bed is planted with a mix of lettuce and some arugula that self seeded there. I’m taking a chance with the lettuce and hoping it will get big enough to harvest before it gets frozen out. Lettuce can take quite a bit of freezing weather if it is protected by a cold frame. The arugula should make it through the winter just fine. We’ve been enjoying it for several months now.
I cover all our cold frames with Agribon-19 material, and some of that needed replacing. I really wanted to get that job done while the weather cooperated. There’s nothing worse than trying to work with row cover material on a windy day! Fortunately it was calm the day I did it. I had just enough Agribon on hand to get the job done, but unless there’s some hiding from me somewhere I need to order some more.
The cold frames sure look better with their new covers, and they should be well protected from the wind and cold this winter. And hopefully they will give us some nice fresh greens in the months to come. There’s a lot going on in the greenhouse too, and I’ll be back later with a tour of what’s happening in there.
I buy Agribon by the roll, not so much for frost protection, but to protect my plants from critters, mostly birds. This year I’ve got a very late planting of snow peas that I’ve covered and I’m hoping that will help the plants to survive the frost when it hits, which always seems to take me by surprise.
I hope your plants get through the arctic blast ok, it looks like you’ve done all you can to help them.
I usually get the Agribon by the roll too. So far so good on the cold frame plants. I think the worst is over for now since we have a warming trend.
I still need to finish my winter chores. I think I only have one left. I need to get the bamboo poles covered with a tarp. I hope it is warm enough tomorrow to get it done.
Arctic blast? I’m shivering just reading about it! It is supposed to get very cold here tonight, even with a little snow, which is always a big deal this far south. I love spinach, and I think we will plant some in our winter garden early next year. We probably could get away with planting it now as our freezes never last long. We plant winter veggies in the ground; no cold frame, though that might be a good idea. Our collards are doing fantastic. Maybe after tonight’s frost, our Tamopan persimmons will ripen!