An Experiment in Winter Gardening: November Update

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So it is official…winter is coming!  I know this isn’t really a shocker considering it is November, but those first few snowflakes always make it seem official.  That and the fact that our temperatures here haven’t seen above the 40’s for quite some time now.  The past few nights have dipped into the 20’s.  So sad!  So what does that mean for my winter gardening experiment?  A few things:

  • I ripped out my tomatoes and butternut squash at the end of October, they were at the end of their life cycle.  I pulled off all of the green tomatoes and brought them inside to ripen on my windowsill.  A few last fresh, juicy tomatoes make me happy!
  • I hung on to my pepper plants.  They were still popping out peppers, so I just let them go at it.  When I saw temperatures going into the 20’s at night, I knew they would probably be done here in the next week or so.  I pulled off all of the remaining peppers and brought them inside.  I will be digging up the plants in the next few days here.  You can see in the picture, they are getting affected by the frost.  10754517_10203150668475276_355116705_o
  • My celery plants are still growing wonderfully.  Celery is a cool weather plant, but I don’t think it will stand up to 20 degree temperatures for much longer.  I will let you know how long it hangs on!
  • I still have my carrots and onions in the ground and plan to leave them there through the winter until needed.  I don’t have as many carrots as I once did because SOMEONE (Sid) decided it would be fun to dig them out and eat them.  Matt didn’t catch him until he had gobbled up the biggest carrot we had growing and the shards of carrot (evidence) were all over the grass/stuck in his jowls.  This was so funny that I couldn’t even be mad.  I mean, what dog digs up carrots to eat them?  What dog even likes carrots?  My weirdo, that is who!
  • My little carrot seedlings I planted the end of Sept aren’t doing much of anything.  They are growing, just very slowly.  I will keep you all posted on the results, but I may have pushed the buttons of the growing season with that one.  Or I will be harvesting them in June of next year.  I would be okay with that! 10807978_10203150674715432_31413907_n
  • The kale/spinach/greens patch is like a jungle.  I thin and thin and it is just growing like weeds.  This makes me very, very happy!!!  The frost hasn’t seemed to affect them at all, which is good because my cold frame is still being built and will be going on the bed hopefully tonight if all goes well in attaching the lid.  My only concern with the greens growing the way they are is that they might bolt early on in the season and then no more greens for me : ( We will cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now, I am just keeping things pinched back and enjoying my fresh salads! 10811516_10203150674995439_1103059942_n
  • My raspberry bushes are still producing fruit like crazy but I can see this cold weather is making production slow down out there.  I am betting they will be done producing my mid November.  No more fresh berries = sadness.  Next year I will stash some berries away in the freezer so I can have them in the winter.  This year the berries went off the bush and into my mouth.  I always took a bowl out with me to collect them, yea that wasn’t really ever necessary haha.  They are so good, what can I say!!

I am actually pretty impressed with things in the garden.  I feel like most people by November have dug everything up , cleaned up the garden, and packed up their gardening tools for the winter.  It is so exciting (at least in my opinion) to still be getting some fresh food out of the garden.  The real test will be when the winter really kicks into high gear.  I don’t know if I will have fresh produce all the way through to spring, but it will be fun to learn a little about winter gardening either way!

much love,

Heather

 

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