On this gorgeous New Year’s Day 2015, in preparation for an afternoon brunch, I was able to pick a bowl of cold hardened mixed greens – spinach, arugula, cilantro and an array of cut-and-come-again-type lettuces of various colors and textures.
Most of what is growing now was planted near the end of October to mid-November from seed or with vegetable starts from Agua Fria Nursery or transplanted from elsewhere in the garden.
There was a plastic cover in place when we had a couple 6”+ snows in Santa Fe in November and a stretch of temperatures reaching close to single digits. Even so, this garden box will fairly certainly provide an abundance of hard-to-come-by really, really fresh green stuff in the middle of the winter!
My current Garden Checklist for this raised bed:
-Regularly pick the valuable & scrumptious greens bounty!
-Water more frequently when the sun shines and temperatures are above freezing for most of the day [about once a week]. It is bad for lettuce is to ever dry out, because it can quickly become bitter! I use harvested rain water and snow melt that is stored in a nearby fishpond and, after poking a hole in the ice, pumped through a hose to soak the bed.
-Keep the cold frame bed cover battened down securely when the weather returns to winter. Mostly it will remain closed during the first two months of the year, but will need to be vented at the ends during the day when temperatures rise and the sun shines longer – towards the end of February.
-Remember the chickens (if you have them) by passing along the green trimmings – they need as much as they can get at this time of year. And this discipline will continually open more space for the new growth, thereby providing more of this super-valuable food derived from one’s efforts.