July 19 column: Winter garden

winter garden

This shows the winter garden hoop house we were building last fall.

Here is a link to my column in today’s edition of The Spokesman-Review: Never too early to start planning for fall.


Even though it has been incredibly hot lately, the focus of my column is on getting your fall and winter garden under way.


You’ll probably recall that I’ve been experimenting with growing veggies during the colder months of the year for the past two winters. I had bit of luck with it the first winter, and more success this past winter. And you know how that works: a little bit of success makes a gardener want to try, try again!


winter gardenThe above photo shows the early phases of constructing a hoop house last fall, to cover two raised beds that had already been planted with cold-hardy vegetables. You can watch a video of the project to see how we built it.


In today’s column, I talk about how it’s time to start your seeds indoors so they’ll be off to a good start before the cold weather hits — that way, they’ll have good growth so you can start harvesting your greens. I also list the most cold-tolerant vegetable crops and varieties to grow for maximum success.

winter garden
Corn salad (a.k.a. Mache)

I’m going to start my kale and minutina seeds tomorrow. The other plants I’m going to grow (claytonia, ‘Bordeaux’ spinach and ‘Vit’ mache) do best when sowed directly but I need to wait a bit as they don’t tolerate temperatures in the 80s and 90s!

Two good mail-order sources for fall and winter garden seeds are Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Territorial Seed.


I’d love to hear if you’re going to give this a try this fall and winter, and how things went. Just drop me a note at inthegarden@live.com.