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Lets talk about winter!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
What are our winter plans? Cover crops? Cold frames? I think I want to give cold frames a try, but I really don't know what I can plant in there.

I am off to do some research, anyone have any experience with this already? I'm zone 5
post #2 of 7
If you don't already have your cold frames up and planted, you'll be hard pressed to be able to harvest much before the frosts get thigns and the snow starts flying in your zone. Unless you're a really warm zone 5. I live in a chilly zone 5 (but with the weather this year, we're just barely seeing tomatoes at the farmer's market, barely). You need your season-extending deals ready to go or planted by mid August if that. Past Halloween, you're not going to be getting anything but possibly mulched root vegetables out of the ground (if it's not frozen solid yet).

My winter plans? I'm not even trying. First I need to know whether I'm going to be in this house next growing season, whether we'll be renting, or whether we might be buying something else. Ah limbo. Good times. *snort*
post #3 of 7
  • Part of my garden was never tilled so I plan on doing that this fall to tear up some grass.
  • I'm going to put better posts in to mark the corners of my beds which are 4 feet wide (I love how fluffy and soft the dirt in the beds are, I stepped in it once to reach something and sunk down a couple inches.)
  • I need to mark out/make some new beds in one corner of the garden that was planted in old school skinny rows (where the beans and potatoes are).
  • Add some dried leaves to the beds, either to cover them and/or mix them into the top layers.
  • Pull a lot of weeds.
  • Make a compost pile.
  • I was thinking of planting some kale (I know, I better get on it!)
  • I'd like to build a little greenhouse to be ready for next spring...

As for cold frames, I thought that you can grow hardy greens etc into the winter with them if you put straw bales around them to insulate, glass window on top... I'm sure I've seen plans for that somewhere.
post #4 of 7
Me again. Just wanted to say that this gardening thing is CRAZY! This is my first garden (and it's a pretty big one!) and I'm already thinking of next years and feeling sad about winter coming! I wish I lived where we could grow year round!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I live on the line of zones 5 and 6. All I got in the ground for fall was green beans. They are already putting off fruit. I was thinking that I may have a little time to get some green in cold frames. I have been thinking of hoop housing my whole garden. I don't know what DH would think about it though.

Heather - I am already also planning next years! I'm trying to get DH to let me tear up most of the front yard
I may have to go to the community garden next year. We just don't have enough space to feed our growing family. We are already almost out of onions.

I have build (another) compost pile on my list. I think I will have to break down and buy one of the black pyramids for compost. The raccoons think I have opened a buffet.
post #6 of 7
I have cold frames. they are glass shower doors for the glass top, and are completely dug into the ground. So should be very well insulated. But this is my first fall with them so we shall see.

Currently planted with lettuce, bok choy, and frise endive.
post #7 of 7
I'm starting some new beds this fall, dug half of them so far the rest this week, planting with winter rye and hairy vetch as I finish them. First year in new beds should be way better than usual after a winter of cover crops right? And I'll have homegrown straw mulch! A week ago I put in a small crop of spinach. Our winters are mild enough I'll bet we could get cabbage and carrots through at least the beginning of the winter if I had a space available for it. But my tomatoes are thriving still so I can't use that bed, and wonder if I can even plant a cover crop early enough in it. Ya know, there was a time I had trouble thinking more than a few hours ahead about dinner, here I am planning and planting for winter while I pick tomatoes.

About this new beds thing, double digging extensive gardens in clay rich soil is HARD! If I ever have a homestead I'm getting PIGS to do this job for me.
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