Garden Friday – Winter Gardens with Light Freezes
Just as I have slowed in my Garden Friday feature as the temps have dropped, so has my garden. Yet I did plant a winter garden this year and thought I would give an update.
As a reminder, I’m in the PNW, west of the Cascades. I planted the garden around September 15th. I had a feeling that would be a little late, but I was on vacation for the previous 3 weeks and early September is so dry here that I didn’t see the point of planting starts that would shrivel in the late summer while I was gone. Turns out, too late. Vacation be damned, I need to get it in no later that Sept 1st for it to be growing enough to be harvestable through the winter months.
That said, I’ve been thrilled at how well the plants are holding up to frost and light freezes. We’ve had about 2 weeks of unseasonably DRY weather which also means unseasonably cold nights – for us. In real terms, we’ve dropped into the high 20’s about 7 times over the past 2 weeks and you would hardly know it by looking at my winter garden bed in the afternoon. Sure, the Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, leeks, kale, and spinach look pretty sad in the morning, but after a few hours of sun, they perk right up. I do have my mixed greens under a pane of glass – this seems to be enough protection for them too! Even my little Myer Lemon tree is doing ok; I should say that I did move it next to the south facing wall to give it a bit more protection.
So, all in all, it looks like the garden will survive the winter. I think it will end up taking off in the early months of spring. So, while planting late may have resulted in a bust for the winter garden, the leafy greens are going to taste awesome come March.
How is your winter garden coming? Or are you just eying all those lovely seed catalogs that are coming in fast and furious right now and wishing for spring?