November 10, and we still haven’t had a serious frost in my immediate area. (Average date of first frost locally is October 15.) Got close a few times, but even my cherry tomatoes and pepper plants are clinging to life.
No more. Tonight, the temperature is forecasted to drop as low as 20. According to the radio reports, “Gardening season is officially over.”
…or is it?
Meet my winter raised bed! This is my latest (and so far, most serious) attempt at a “four season harvest”. Blame / credit goes to Nikki Jabour’s book The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, which I found particularly inspiring as fall reading.
I planted the bed with cold hardy crops – shorter greens (like spinach and upland cress) on the edge of the bed, taller plants like kale and leeks in the center.
I’ve engineered wind breaks to help protect the box further – wind burn being even more damaging to plants than low temperatures – and tucked it in for the night with a double layer of row cover.
The pea gravel anchoring the fabric edges gave the tightest closure we’ve ever achieved. Landscaping staples always seem to leave slack which eventually loosens in the wind and allows deadly drafts.
Here’s hoping for mid-winter bounty!
P.S., the full list of plants is as follows: spinach, upland cress, beets, turnips, radishes (including daikon), lettuce, leeks and kale. I also planted carrots but they failed to germinate.