September 17, 2010

Extending the Gardening Season

I'm currently cleaning my greenhouse, getting ready for winter. I've been deciding what potted plants I want to bring in and have them live longer for either their pretty flowering or produce they'll give us. Doing this usually introduces insects into the greenhouse. Tho they don't look to have insects outside, and the cooler temps keep them at bay ... bring them into the warm environment and voila, bugs! I usually spray them some with a safesoap for awhile, before deciding to add them to the compost.



I made some "cloches" of PVC piping and clamps and floating row cover (remay) material. I've put some in the kitchen garden over the peppers for a little warmth boost and frost protectant. Some are covering the bed on the south side of the greenhouse. I used to have a coldframe there, which produced salad greens most of the winter. Now it's a nice rock-lined raised bed. There's some pepper and eggplant plants there and two grapevines, but I planted some salady seeds.



I've put the same white material over lots of the tomatoes in the garden. Travis, I'm not growing Brandywine or Caspian Pinks (heirloom) again! I can probably start you some, but I've gotta grow smaller tomato and shorter season varieties in my neck of the woods! I've got to start looking up green tomato recipes! It sounds like the green tomato pie is like an apple pie. I've never cooked green tomato anything. I will be pulling out a lot of the plants eventually on to a large tarp and pull them into the garage. Then one-by-one most of them ripen.



In the greenhouse I've already got seedlings sprouted of carrots, raddishes, beets, green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, spinach, kale, mustard greens and lettuces. I'll be transplanting these to permanent bigger pots and planting snow peas too. I've got heat coils, and grow lights. This is the first year I'm going to see how growing over the winter in there works. It does get cold at night and hot in the day and sometimes freezes, but we'll put heaters in then for preventing freezing plants (and the sink pipes). Monte's going to do some insulation. I've started my garden seedlings early spring, but never fall planted for winter.



I'm pulling in (the big pots are on casters) a lime and fig tree, jasmine vine, four potted eggplants, two large pots of acorn squash plants, and herbs. I love gardening!
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