Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Garden Trial

Today it was 25 degrees in Chicago. We expect to have a severe winter storm with 6" to 8" inches of snow by midnight. Yesterday it was 50 degrees and you wouldn't have known it was Jan 11th. Either way, our winter garden is still showing signs of life. Here's proof that you CAN grow a winter garden in Chicago. Growing anything makes me happy no matter what season it is.

Under the low tunnels the greens are doing well. I have to admit I'm a little nervous about the unusual amount of heavy snow we are going to get tonight, hoping the weight of the wet snow won't bring down the low tunnels.

Fancy red lettuce and spinach


Mustard Greens

Lactino Kale

Not everything faired as well... but that's ok. After-all, I have to remind myself that it's a winter garden trial.

The beginnings of a winter garden.
A different time. Another season.
October 23, 2011


H2 said...

Your greens look exceptional, Debbie.
Did you use any kind of clips on your low tunnels to hold the fabric/plastic in place against the snow?

Debbie said...

I used bricks and flagstones to weigh down the Agribon (frost fabric) and 6 mil plastic. Here's what Eliot Coleman the guru of winter gardening recommends:

Next, Coleman draped 10-foot-wide row cover over the hoops and placed small grain bags filled with gravel on the edges of the row cover at each hoop, to hold the cover in place. Fabric extending at the ends of the row was bunched and pulled snug, tied securely with a cord, and the cord was tied to a wooden stake in the ground. The tension of the fabric created by pulling each end taut to the stake strengthens the structure.

H2 said...

I bitched and moaned about those clamps we used, but they seem to be doing a pretty good job of holding the covering taut.

Neeli said...

wow this is awesome!

Debbie said...

Neeli, Thanks for the acknowledgment. I wish more people could know/learn that you can extend the season and grow more healthy food in the spring and late fall/winter.

I enjoyed visiting your blog some really interesting recipes!