Hard Winter Lessons

Not so appetizing…

I’ve taken lots of pictures, and learned lots of things, but I didn’t get any lettuce out of the deal this winter, or tomatoes either. The freeze this past weekend was the death of my last few lettuce starters, which looked so promising just a few days ago.

My husband suggested that I should try growing Romaine in the winter time, instead of the fragile curly leaf varieties that I tried because I still had those seeds. So, I am planning on starting some Romaine seeds, but, it is already almost spring, so I won’t count these starters as a winter crop.

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Transplanting Day

Today I moved my tender tomato starters into pots and put them under a grow light in my kitchen window. I’ve done all that I can do for them. Now I’ll have to see if it was enough to get back some love.

I also put my lettuce starters in one of my “salad bowls” in the mini-greenhouse on our south facing deck. I covered them with, appropriately, a salad bowl inside the greenhouse, because it’s supposed to freeze tonight.

Lettuce covered against the freeze with a salad bowl. Each layer creates a warmer environment. The greenhouse is zipped up now, collecting heat for tonight….

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Creating Mini Tropics

I put portable cake covers over my lettuce for a second layer of protection.

I was warned that my lettuce might not make it through the overnight frosts we are having and expecting this week. I wasn’t prepared with covers for each plant, so I decided to use the covers to my portable cake holders as cloches to cover as much as I could.

Looking good after a frosty night.
There’s condensation on the inside of the covers, like a tropical terrarium.

So far so good! After inspection, I covered them back up until warmer weather returns.

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From frugal fare…

a hoop row covered by agribon and sealed up with rocks and planks
sealed up for the freeze

One day I would like to have a nice box, maybe with a used window on hinges for a lid, nestled right up against the brick wall of the house. But this winter I am happy with my hoops, a sheet of agribon, and some old planks and bricks. I thought that three hoops might be enough for one row, but that turned out not to be stable enough in the wind. So if I want to do another row I’ll have to find some more hoops.

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