Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A new gardener’s first attempt at winter gardening

By Alyssa Van Alstine

I’ve always loved gardening, and for the first time in my life I’ve actually had a backyard where I could grow vegetables. This past summer was my first attempt at growing veggies in raised beds, and although there are some kinks to work out, it was an overall success.  When summer turned to fall, I began contemplating ways to prolong the growing season. Inspired by Jen Ryan’s Extending the Gardening Season presentation at Second Saturday, I decided to give winter gardening a try. (See Sept. 2011 blog)

My very supportive (and patient) husband helped construct a hoop house over two of our existing 4’x6’ beds. To make the hoop house, we     used 1” PVC pipes, some scrapped lumber and plastic sheeting. We created a “ventilation” system by allowing the sides of the hoop house to rise for unseasonably warm days.

The veggies we attempted to grow included cabbage, broccoli, beets, radishes, lettuce, spinach, peas, arugula, endive, swiss chard, collard greens and green onion. So far, the arugula and radishes have been most successful. Some of the seed never sprouted (lettuce), and the other plants are growing VERY slowly, most likely to be a spring harvest at this rate.

What I’ve learned from this experience is to start growing the vegetables early! I didn’t sow my veggies until mid-late October, which was apparently too late. Overall, this has been a fun project and something I would like to try again next year!

Charlie loves winter gardening too!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, looks cold there. I have a dog in N.Z that looks just like Charlie. He also love the snow and cold weather. What's with that lol.