Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tucking in for Winter

November 2007

Asheville got its first frost Sunday night. All my early warning systems were up and running: a phone call from our lovely gardening mentor (hey Jenni!), an email from some weather site that will send you one when it is going to freeze, my own new habit of Checking the Weather. B. got out there last weekend and put in the hoops, so really most of the hard work was already finished. On Sunday we had only to unroll our frost blankets and plastic and maneuver them both over the beds. Considering that the wind had kicked up, we definitely had our hands full, and it didn’t help that we were a little short on plastic.

I miss seeing the vegetables but I must say that tucking everything in for the winter is a really satisfying feeling. Depending upon the weather for each day we will vent the ends of the hoops. As it currently stands taking everything on and off is a royal pain in the butt, so I’m already cooking up some ideas about how to make it easier; suffice to say that if I had some 16 foot two-by-fours I’d be all set by now. Also, now that I think about it I definitely did not choose a logical planting arrangement; some of the greens we are growing actually reward a frost here and there (the frost triggers the plants to convert starch stored in the roots into sugar for your lucky mouth) and I’m pretty sure the favas can take cooler temperature too. But then I went and planted lettuce and arugula all over the place so we can’t really risk not covering both of the beds. Oh well. We are learning as we go.

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