A Journey to Grow a Little Food Close to Home

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winter Prep

I know, I know - like I said yesterday, not a lot of people are crazy enough to think about a winter garden in Wisconsin (i.e. the frozen tundra) let alone think about it in July. Tha't wat has to be done, I'm learning, in order to ensure a winter harvest. So...I prepped beds!

This one...

... had some forgotten carrots and some lettuce stragglers that were hinting at going to seed so I pulled it all out, double dug it, and added a layer of compost on top. I'm going to let it rest for a few days and then I'll plant 117 carrots on August 1st.

If 117 sounds like a strange number, here's how I came up with it. According to the research that I have found, 4 square inches per carrot is actually sufficient. That's 2 inches each way with the carrot on the middle. The bed is 22in on the short front side (top of the photo) and 42 in on the longer back side (bottom of the photo). It is 26 inches front to back. Because I am not a seasoned intensive gardener (yet), I though I'd build in a little room for error and plant at 1 carrot per 5 suare inches (or 2.5 by 2.5). This means 9 carrots in the front row and 17 in the back row. With staggered planting and 7 rows in between the front and back, there is room for 117 carrots! We shall see...

I did prep a small portion of another bed for some late fall salad greens.

This one was actually where the nibbled peas were (see yesterday's post). I followed the same process here - remove the old plants, double dig, add compost. This time, though, I seeded right away. On the left, I'll have some head lettuce, on the right...some spinach. Toward the front (bottom) there will be a little loose leaf mezclun, and toward the back (top), some arugula. This should cover us for salads from the end of August through the end of October. I'll post pics when the plants sprouts.

*I have to admit that I did not plan well with the succession planting of the lettuce - we have actually run out! By the time this new planting is ready to eat, we will have had a 7 week window with no lettuce. Live and learn, I guess. Will get it right next year*

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