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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

winter harvest

 winter salad tunnel IMG_4668

It seemed like a good day to open my winter tunnel. I was really curious how things looked after our cold snap down into the single digits last week. Surprisingly, it was not too bad. There were some areas on the edges, especially the north side, with mushy plants. And some plants are doing better than others. But lots of the plants look really good. The kale (Vates) and spinach (Kookaburra) look perfectly happy, romaine lettuce (Trucas) too. The leaf lettuce (Italienischer), escarole frissee, and the daikon radish looked frost bit.

I picked a whole bucket full of greens. I picked a lot of the greens at the edges that were having trouble, and most of the leaf lettuce. I picked the bok choy only because it looked so good and I though why risk it. I didn't pick any spinach. It's still small. I wish I'd planted more and earlier. That said, I wish I'd planted more of everything. We've been eating store bought greens the past month. But this tunnel is a good experiment. More next year!

I'll probably add a photo of cleaned up greens here later. I'm hoping they make a few nice salads. I pulled some salad turnips. These were something I was testing for timing for my app, but "are not to my taste"(yukk). I think my husband like them sauteed just a little. They do look pretty.

winter salad tunnel IMG_4669 winter salad tunnel IMG_4685d
winter salad tunnel IMG_4675 winter salad tunnel IMG_4677

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Blogger D McC said...

I like you set-up with the two layers/levels of covering. Looks like it's working very well for you.

January 12, 2016 10:08 PM

Blogger kathy said...

So far, so good. I forgot to mention that I came across a hole under the radish. Maybe voles? I'll go down today with Castor oil/ soap mix and soak the soil. I didn't see any rodent damage.

January 13, 2016 2:58 AM

Blogger ValHalla said...

Do you apply the castor oil to the soil in the garden or just around the edges? I have not noticed voles recently, but it's good to be prepared. I wonder if it would dissuade squirrels from burying walnuts as well?
I have plastic greenhouses on some beds and triple layers of row cloth on others, and I am amazed at how much has survived. My bok choy was damaged, so I picked it all last weekend, and it has been the only failure other than some peas I planted too late. My Napa cabbage looked frozen this morning--I hope it makes it!

January 13, 2016 10:52 AM

Blogger kathy said...

My peas froze too. It was a tough year for peas with the roasting hot and dry September weather we had. My peas didn't want to grow them. I don't think it would have helped to plant them earlier. But winter cover for them is a good idea. I hope to have more covered beds next year.

I applied my Castor oil in the soil at the edge of the bed last fall. I soaked the soil well several time before we dug the wire around bed. I wanted any that were in the bed out before the wire went on. Anyway, I mixed the Castor oil as per the directions and then dumped two gallons at the bed edges about three times and few days apart. I don't know if that made any different, but that's what I did.

This morning, I couldn't find my Castor oil bottle. I'll hunt again tonight.

It was funny how I found the rodent holes. I was digging down with my hand to loosen the dirt and pull out a Daikon radish. There seemed to be a long 2 inch wide hole. My first impulse was to fill it in. But I'd like to go back and dig up that area a bit and apply the Castor oil there. I'd also want to follow the hole and see where it goes. I'm so glad there's no damage to the plants.

I also pulled my bok choy yesterday. It looks really nice. I think I'll cook it tonight. Stir fry with garlic and ginger and a little sauce. I'll make ginger-soy spice pork meatballs with it and white rice. And a winter greens salad.

(I have to look up what to do with Daikon radish. I've never grown them before.)

January 13, 2016 2:20 PM

Blogger Roanie said...

daikon radish are nice shredded with food processor or mandoline and then used as crunchy topping for Asian style salads or Debora Madison roast eggplant sesame noodles.

January 13, 2016 4:43 PM

Anonymous Vicki Green said...

How wonderful to have your own fresh vegetables in the winter. I'm in a colder zone (zone 5), but I think I'll give this a try next year.

January 15, 2016 7:26 AM


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