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.

Friday, November 11, 2016

today's garden work

winter garden prep IMG_9030 winter garden prep IMG_9029

It seems I should be finishing up with my garden for the season, but I'm hurrying to get my winter crops set. This is what I did in the garden today.

- Clean out tomato debris from my winter bed (this bed has hardware cloth dug in 8 inches around the base to deter voles and also has brackets to support the PVC hoops)

- Spread compost and manure on winter bed (3 bags Black Earth compost and 2 bags composted manure) and dig it in (I dig it in only turning a shovelful here and there, trying to both distribute the amendments and preserve some of the soil structure)

- Plant seedlings in the winter bed, including chard, broccoli, bok choi, lettuce, and spinach - leaving room to seed more spinach

- Mulch the winter bed seedlings with salt marsh hay (I have no water at the garden, so I hope they take root OK)

- Put in place low metal hoops and tall PVC hoops for my double layer winter tunnel

- Clear out my watermelon bed for planting a few cloves of extra giant garlic given to me by a friend (most of my garlic - 70 cloves - was planted several weeks ago in my community garden plot)

- Amend the garlic bed with compost and manure, dig it in, and then plant the garlic (I need to mulch this bed later)

- Cover my lettuce bed with row cover since it might go below 30 tonight

I'm glad my new pup Charley and big sister Suzie are so good. They ran and played nearby while I worked. The leaves and cool weather are great fun for them.

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Blogger Stephanie Cavallaro said...

Hi Kathy,

Can you explain your double row winer tunnel. I see it in the pictures but I am not sure how to use it. How do you cover it?

November 12, 2016 6:08 PM

Blogger kathy said...


The inner tunnel is supported by the thin metal hoops. I'll put a frost protection row cover over them. I buy this from Johnnys Seeds and it's the thickest row cover they sell. Over that I have the PVC hoops. They are 10 foot PVC tubing attached at the sides of the bed. Over them I'll put greenhouse plastic. I've bought that in the past on line at Greenhouse Mega Store. The air between the two layers provides a lot of protection against the cold I've read. It protected my plants fine at -13 degrees F (!) one night last year. If you click on the link at the bottom of my post (I think "winter tunnel") you can see pictures of the double tunnel I had last year. I hope this explains it. It worked well last year. Last year we had very little snow. We can't help but have more this year. I'm not sure how my hoops will hold up with a snow load. We'll see.

November 12, 2016 10:46 PM

Blogger Stephanie Cavallaro said...

Thank you! That helps a lot! And congratulations on your MG certification!

November 13, 2016 12:32 PM


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