Winter Garden Update Feb. 2018

winter garden update

winter garden updateOur winter has been unseasonably mild for the most part. In December, we did have a spell of some very cold temperatures which (I thought) wiped out my lettuce crop in the hoop house. Well, surprise surprise! It’s back so it’s time for a winter garden update.

I was certain the lettuce plants were toast — and they certainly looked like they were — but it turns out our mild temperatures over the past month were enough to bring them back. In the photo to the left, you can see some of the Romaine lettuce that I planted a few months ago.



winter garden updateBut I think the highlight of my visit to the hoop house was the corn salad, which is also known as mache. I’ve grown it for the past few winters and am amazed at how cold-hardy it is. The leaves never get bitter and are absolutely wonderful in salads. You harvest the whole plants, rather than a leaf at a time. As you can see by the photo to the right, I ended up with a very nice harvest… and this is only about 4 plants! So I have plenty more to pick.

I was also able to harvest a bit of the ‘Matador’ spinach leaves. This is the first winter I’ve grown this cultivar, which I chose after reading how cold-tolerant it is. And I have to say I’m impressed. Some of the leaves were HUGE. The only bad thing that happened is that I’ve been noticing some slug damage on a few of the leaves but never could find the culprit. Well, this morning, there he was, looking pretty plump and pleased with himself, I might add. After a trip to the chicken yard, I can report he’s no longer feeling so good! (Sorry. But hey, it’s a perfectly reasonable end for that sort of critter)

winter garden updateThe kale is doing really well, too, and my plan is to harvest some leaves for a lovely casserole in the next week.

Anyway, there is plenty of life in the hoop house plants these days so I would call the winter garden of 2018 a roaring success!