Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Greens

Instead of the winter blues, how about getting the winter greens? In the Pacific Northwest, you can grow greens all winter long with the right protection. A simple cold-frame or cloche cover will do the trick.

If this is something you want to do, you need to think about next winter now!

Keep a log of where the sun hits your garden during these cold months. This will take the guess work out of garden planning for winter crops. Since you will be planting your winter garden in the late summer, you won't always be able to accurately gauge where the sun will hit the soil due to a change in the sun's angle as the season progresses. I know next winter is a long way off, but you will be repaid in time and heartache by spending a few minutes this winter finding the "hot spots" of your garden like this guy did:

photo by T. Lot
Make sure you keep track of how long the sun hits those hot spots, to ensure there is enough light for your plants. Not around all day to take measurements because of a pesky job? There is a product out on the market that can take the guesswork out called the Suncalc sunlight calculator. I have never used it, but it came well recommended on Amazon (read the fine print about water resistance), so long as you are simply looking for full-sun, partial-sun, or shade recommendations. Needless to say, you should only plant in full-sun areas for your winter plants.

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