Bo’s latest project is winter gardening. Before you laugh, just consider that we lost most of our summer crops before June 1st this year, due to the extreme heat and dryness. If it’s too hot to garden in the summer, why not try fall and winter?
However, you need to provide a way for some of the more delicate stuff to be protected from the occasional winter weather extremes. Above is a hoop house, basically a mini-greenhouse built on a budget, with PVC pipe hoops and utility plastic sheeting. It’s sheltering the mature tomato and bell pepper plants that were the only survivors of our hot summer garden. Of course, they didn’t really start producing fruits that we could harvest until September.
Then there are the cold frames. The upper one is shielding carrots and micro-greens, both young crops that were planted in the fall. The lower one contains baby swiss chard plants. Bo built them with used windows that he got for free from a Craigs List ad, and for the lower box, some inexpensive red wood acquired through the same venue.
Lemongrass plants on the right, dwarf Meyer lemon in the middle
Of course, there’s always the bring-it-inside solution, for the potted stuff, anyway. We’re lucky to have a sun room that hasn’t been claimed for any function other than nursing plants (although one of our houseguests commented that it would make a nice yoga room in the winter!).
Despite our 80 degree weather this week, we were promised temperatures in the 30s on Wednesday night. So, as much of the rest of the country watched the first presidential debate, we were scurrying around in the gathering gloom and howling wind anchoring plastic sheeting, covering the herb box with agro-bond (a gauzy stuff that protects plants), and stowing everything that might otherwise blow away. And, lo and behold, ahead of the forecast, look at the sight that greeted us on Friday morning.
We’re supposed to have low temperatures around 17 degrees tonight, but it’s supposed to be in the 60s and sunny by Monday. Stay tuned, true believers!
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