Getting the homestead ready for winter


We’ve slowly been buttoning up our place for cold weather. Now that we’ve had a couple of real frosts, it feels like we were just in time.

In our cold frames, we have a nice little crop of Asian salad greens. But most of the rest of our winter crops (mache, claytonia, spinach, kale) didn’t germinate. So we planted again–this time in seed flats. They’re currently trying to catch up under grow lights in the house.

Turnips and radishes are doing great in another frame. When we built the frames, we used old pallets for some of them, and salvaged most of our glass from a window company in town.

Reluctant to let go of the peppers, I covered some with a sheet of plastic (along with bystander marigolds). That doesn’t work nearly as well as…

…digging them up and bringing them inside.

Our little fig tree, which we planted this spring, has made us proud with its summer growth. When it got really cold, we covered it each night with a tarp for frost protection. Then my husband called Edible Landscaping and found out that, being on the south side of the house, the fig is probably O.K. without any cover.

On a similar note, the chickens had been fitted out with a 100-watt bulb in their coop for a little extra nighttime warmth. But further research revealed that this isn’t necessary. If and when the temp gets into the teens, we’ll give them some straw, and they should be fine.

What are your winter preparations, and what do you find hardest to let go of when cold weather comes to your garden?