My winter garden experiment

I'd really like to continue eating fresh, locally grown greens over the winter. So, I'm trying to grow them myself.

Actually, this isn't a totally personal effort. Rachael came by to help me plant these beds a week ago, and Mark helped me put the beds together a few weeks ago and cut the PVC for the hoops. Planted in the far back is a bed of garlic. This should overwinter just fine with no protection, but I added the hoops and bird netting to keep the chickens off of the bed. They like to dig in the beds, and I don't want them digging up the garlic.

In the next closest bed, Rachael and I planted mache, arugula, chard, and a row of claytonia and radish. Again we added hoops and bird netting to keep the chickens off.

The next closest bed we seeded with a winter lettuce mix, italian dandelion, a mixed row of mizuna and radish. More hoops and bird netting, too. Finally, the bed with the cold frame has spinach in it. I added bird netting over that, too. I have some poly row cover for frost protection that I've been putting on during the really cold nights. I plan to keep it on permanently if I have something really growing that needs the protection.

All of these greens are supposed to be hardy and should sprout in cool soil. Although we've had unseasonably warm temps, wouldn't you know the temps dropped off right after we planted the beds. I'm pleased to see that we have some sprouting action, though.

That's mache sprouting up there. Yay! It appears that the winter lettuce mix is also sprouting, so if I can at least keep these going we'll get a few salads.

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