Monday, December 14, 2015

inside my winter tunnel


My winter tunnel is full of greens. Spinach, several types of lettuce, arugula, radicchio, kale, chard, collards, salad turnips, daikon and salad radish, cilantro, some frilly red mustard, escarole, bok choi. Can't beat this balmy December weather for cool weather crops! I have parsley, escarole, broccoli, beets and kale outside with no protection.


Plants in my tunnel are from my winter seed sowing calendar, which is part of Skippy's full-season planting calendar app. I planted everything to test the planting dates in the app.

The app is $1.99 (iOS or Android). I think the price will go up for the next season (probably to $2.99), so it makes sense to get it now. All pf the app updates will apply whether your buy before or after the price increase. The calendar has spring and fall planting schedules too.

I'm counting down the days til my spring planting begins - end of February!


My only complaint with my tunnel is that I wish I had planted more of them! Next year...



Joe said...

I'm jealous! It's looking much better than what I've got. I use a cold frame, but shortly after all my winter greens started to come up, some sort of tunneling critter that had been limiting themselves to one corner of the lawn suddenly made their way over to the cold frame and most of my sprouts disappeared. The tunnels look like moles, but I've been told moles don't eat veggies. I now have a grand total of one lettuce and three kale left.

Since I now have open space in the cold frame, I'm doing something that worked surprisingly well last year: planting in early winter. Last year, I planted about Christmas time directly in the cold frame. The plants came up and then grew exceedingly slow due to the limited daylight hours. With lengthening days came improved growth, and I got the earliest lettuce, spinach, carrots, and broccoli I had ever gotten. This year I'm trying to get even earlier by giving the plants a head start in the house under grow lights.

donkenzie said...

How on earth do you eat all of those beautiful greens?? You must be healthy as a horse!

kathy said...

Arggh! The tunneling critter. That mowed down my bed last year. This year, I am fortified. I dug in 6 inches of hardware cloth all around the base of the bed. And I've been pouring on Castor Oil. They hate that. And with the covers closed the smell is enclosed and gets strong. Third, I'm doing my best to secure the edges with rocks so they can't climb in. So far I'm ok.

However I haven't had the tunnel closed much with the warm weather. So the Hawks and owls are still doing their job. They're masters at critter control if they have clear space to get at them.

kathy said...

Btw I love getting an early start on seeding. Out in the cold frame. It works really well for spinach. If you raise some inside first, be careful to harden them off gradually.

kathy said...

And about being super healthy, I wish. But hopefully eating vegetables helps the balance my other issues. My whole family, three of us, loves to eat a big salad every evening with dinner. A half- the-plate-full sort of salad. The more variety in greens and toppings the better. I like the mustards, radicchios, Escaroles, in winter. Also Baby beet greens, and some tiny kale leaves. Then a homemade Ranch dressing. Yummy.

The thing you may not realize about that winter bed of greens is that it really won't grow much. And it runs a risk of being frozen or crushed under snow soon. But if all goes well, it Will sit there mostly like that til the end of February when the light level picks up. So the three of us have two and a half months to serious thinning and eating that bed of greens. Not so much when you think of it that way. I don't want to have too much left in March, because then it will definitely overgrow what we can eat.