Sunday, February 03, 2013

Winter Gardening for Spring Vegetables

This is a start for gardening for the year.  The raised bed is the standard 4ft by 8ft raised bed that I've been building.  This is the 4th one so far.  The difference now is, I wanted a cover, to warm it up a few degrees.  Pus, protection from deer and rabbits once the cover is in place.

The cover consisted of:
6 2ft rebars.
12 copper brackets with nails
3 10ft long vinyl pipes
2 sections of 4 ft wide chicken wire
row cover.

All but the row cover came from the big orange home improvement store.  The row cover is from Johnny's Selected Seeds.  The chicken wire is held in place by plastic bale twine, recycled.

With row cover in place.  It looks like a conastoga wagon without the wheels.  The row cover wasn't quite wide enough, but I'll get some clothes pins to hold it to the chicken wire.
The rebar is easily removed, in case I don't want to keep this arrangement in place.
The tallest portion of the hoops is about 4 feet tall.  That height will be plenty tall enough for most vegetables, including tomatoes and okra.  But those are for May or June planting.  Here, I planted Oregon Giant snow peas, which grow 3  or 3 1/2 feet tall.  The packet states sow as soon as ground can be worked, so here we are.  Before planting, I sprinkled Plant Success mycorrhyzal inoculant on the surface and worked it in.  Probably more important, I used legume Rhizobium inoculant from Territorial Seeds - made a slurry in water, swirled the seeds around in the slurry, let them soak 10 minutes, then planted and watered in with the rest of the slurry.

Also planted, after adding Plant Success as sort of a "good wishes":
Boston Red Beets 1/2 row
Mini Bok Choy, from New Dimension seeds. 1/2 row
German Giant radish, 1/2 row.
French Breakfast radish, 1/2 row.

There is room for a row of spinach and a row of mesclun.  Room fills up fast.  May need to build a second raised bed for more winter vegetables.

As always this is an experiment.  I don't think it's too early.  I planted radishes and other cold tolerant vegetables in late January, 2011, and they grew nicely.

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