This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

sowing seed for my winter garden

winter sowing IMG_2941

Even though my last year's winter garden was eaten to the ground by voles, I'm planting another one this year. I'm planting all of the crops included in my Winter Planting Calendar App (part of my Full Season Calendar App). I'm using the dates recommended there. It'll be a good double check of the app.

The app requires an input of my "Limited Daylight Date", which is the date when my area falls to less than 10 hours of sunlight per day (also called the beginning of the Persephone Period). This is November 10 for me.

The week of September 1 (this week), I'm planting kale, bunching onion, collards and radicchio. Next week, I'll plant Swiss chard, cilantro, lettuce and turnip.  I'm planting indoors in pots as the weather is still so hot and I don't have a good watering system outside. I'll just baby the seedlings indoors for a couple weeks, and then set them out.

For cold protection, I'm planning to use greenhouse plastic over PVC hoops again. I plan to use double cold protection this year: I'll add a second layer of Agribon floating row cover over the plants. For vole protection, I'm planning to dig in a 6 inch deep layer of hardware cloth all around the edge of the bed (as soon as the weather cools down a bit). I'll attach it to the outside of the raised bed. I also plan to soak castor oil into the soil at the edge of the beds. I'm thinking I'll be bold and set up two raised beds for winter this year, rather than the single failed one I set up last year. Why not.

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