The temperature got up to a toasty 4°F/-21°C this morning so I went for a walk up to the garden and I’m glad to report it’s well on its way for 2014.
What? You don’t believe me? Here, I’ll make it easier to see.
See? A few crops are already in place and nicely protected by this deep blanket of snow and the straw beneath it. When it warms up again this spring the plants will begin to grow again and I’ll have a jump on the season. While it’s normal for me to plant garlic in the fall, I tried a couple of new things this year.
Last spring when I was planting other things, I kept coming across spinach plants that had survived the winter and were growing new leaves. The same was true for some onions and shallots that I missed harvesting. This fall, instead of ripping out all the spinach to work in organic matter like I usually do, I just harvested the leaves that were left and then mulched them with a thick layer of straw.
The onions are another kind of experiment. When I had harvested all the large onions I left the smaller ones to grow some more. When the time came to sow a cover crop of buckwheat, they really hadn’t put on enough size to make them worth keeping, but I pulled them anyway. I dried and cured them along with the rest and stored them in the basement. Then it occurred to me that I could try planting them again when it got cold, just like the garlic so I did. Some straw mulch was put down as insurance against a dry winter without enough snow cover. I can’t wait to see if they survive and grow again this year.