The Winter Garden: 250 Varieties of Cold Hardy Plants, Growing Strong!

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Ta-da! The winter garden and low tunnels are up and growing!

Ta-da! The winter garden and low tunnels are up and growing!

 

What do you get when you add 250 winter vegetable varieties + 20,000 square feet of Gro-Guard fabric row cover + 230 pieces of 1/2 inch metal conduit bent into low tunnels + 150 pieces of 9 gauge wire bent into mini-hoops + 2 fun-loving kids?

One very tired, but very happy, Mother.

Despite my absence from the blog for the past few months, I’ve been working hard for all of us while I’ve been away.

A little over 250 varieties of winter vegetables and herbs are growing, not just for the benefit of my family, but for YOUR future benefit as you follow along and watch how they perform.

In addition to getting the winter garden planted and ready for the winter months, I’ve also been finishing the book. That’s right… Garden Under Cover will be out by the end of the month! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share it with you.

Since all of my writing energy is focused elsewhere at the moment, I thought you would enjoy some video tours of our farm to hold you over. This is where all of the winter gardening experiments happen these days, now that we’ve moved from our hillside lot in the city, to a hollow in the country. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth infinitely more. These videos should give you a sense of the size and scope of this year’s winter gardening trials, as well as what gardening with low tunnels looks like if you’ve never done it before. You’ll note that in the first video, taken November 16th, there’s not a single low tunnel up in the garden, even though our first frosts started arriving on October 18th. That’s because I’ve found that vegetables become much more cold hardy (and flavorful) when they aren’t “babied” with row covers — when temperature forecasts start calling for the low 20s F (<-4 C), that’s when I start covering the garden. Our temperatures have been as low as 17 F (-8 C) so far this season, and only about 50% of the garden has been covered to this point, simply because these temperatures, although low, aren’t a danger zone for many varieties yet. Don’t believe me? Check out the videos to see how these plants freeze and rebound.

And if you want to see more videos from our farm, feel free to check out my YouTube channel — I’m doing my best to maintain a video series of some of the vegetable trials and sustainable growing practices that we’re using in our new market garden. Interested in photos and short reports on some of the ~250 vegetable varieties that I’m growing? I post those on my Facebook page on a regular basis, so feel free to follow along!

So… it’s time for a little less talk, and a lot more action. Welcome to Four Petal Farm!

 

Want to learn more about gardening in winter?

I’ve got lots of winter gardening resources under the tab at the top of the page, or please sign up to be notified when my book, Garden Under Cover: Low Tunnel Winter Vegetable Production, is published. Alternatively, check out the following resources that I personally enjoy — these affiliate links cost nothing extra to you, but help support this blog:

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