Saturday, October 11, 2014

Planning our Four Season Garden

This is the time of year when the garden starts winding down. We just picked the last of our green beans, dug up the last batch of potatoes and picked the last cucumber. Earlier in the month we brought in the last of the zucchini and summer squash. While we still have quite a bit left to harvest (like tomatoes, carrots, beets, some late lettuce and other hardy greens) it's time to start clearing away the faded plants and start prepping the beds for a winter's rest.

We have a lot to do this year, to be prepared for next spring. Some of our raised beds are finishing their 6th year in use, and need to be rebuilt. We also have to take some steps to replenish the soil for next year. We'll do this by tilling the soil and planting some winter rye in the beds as a winter cover crop.

But there will be one bed that we will not be tucking in for the winter. We're going to try an
stack of old windows, just waiting
to be turned into a coldframe.
experiment this year... Winter gardening! We're going to reserve one bed to build a cold frame around, and we're going to try growing some hardy crops, like kale, cabbage and collards. I've been planning to do this for years, but just haven't gotten around to it! We have a whole stack of old windows in our garage that we're going to use to build the cold frame. It will be interesting to see how this experiment goes, as The Farmer's Almanac is predicting another really cold winter. With that forecast in mind, we may not keep it going through the whole winter, but I will be happy to just extend our growing season as long as possible.

In addition to the winter bed we'll have outside, we're also going to try to grow some things indoors, as well. We're planning to repeat our past Indoor Potato Experiment, though hoping for more success this time. I'm also trying to start a windowsill herb garden, though the cats seem determined to have their way with it.

I'm plan to have most of our set-up done in the coming weeks, before the first frost sets in. I'll be posting pics and updates on this project, so stay tuned!

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