Wintering Over Root Vegetables

Looks like we will be having an early winter this year but we still have a lot of carrots and beets! It’s time to put row cover over the hoops for these root vegetables and see how long they will last.

We are trying two different approaches. The carrots on the right will just be covered with the fabric. The beets on the left are covered with hay AND the fabric to double insulate. Beets are more susceptible to the cold than carrots so we thought they may need extra help to keep from freezing.

We had great success last year when we winter covered for the first time. We only covered the carrots and they lasted until almost Thanksgiving! In addition to surviving the winter weather they also lasted into January after harvested and refrigerated.

Let’s see how long we can make the carrots and beets last this winter!

After the Frost

Last week a somewhat thriving garden. After the frost…..

It’s a little disappointing when you still have tomatoes ripening on the vine when your first frost comes. But then there is also the stress release of knowing you no longer need to spend every morning and evening caring for your crops.

What’s next? Clean up. Let the chicken have at it while pulling everything out of the ground and tossing it into the compost pile. We decided to leave the landscape fabric on the ground to protect the soil. We aren’t sure if it’s a good idea yet but we’ll see what the soil is like next year.We pulled out the irrigation drip tape to be sure water in the tape didn’t freeze and crack the tape. Other than that we are just leaving the garden to rest until spring.

And next year? Of course we will take a look at everything that worked and didn’t work and plan on adjusting for next year. We have 4-5 months to finalize our plan. The biggest learning was that we had too many rows of a single item and couldn’t sell them all. We will do fewer rows next year and only 1 row per item. Only exception is the beans. We’ll have 1 row of green beans, and a second row split between yellow and purple beans. No more 3 rows of tomatoes and cucumbers. Even though they were very popular it was still too much. I’m sure we’ll have more thoughts as the full winter comes and we will have more ideas on ways to make next years crops better. More efficient set up, bigger variety and better yield. That’s what we are looking for next year.