Saturday, November 28, 2009

November Garden Update - Hoop House Tour

I thought I'd do a quick update on some of the veggies I have growing under cover at the moment. Looking back on these past 3 months, despite some snow flurries in early October, our fall weather has been very much on the side of the gardener this year. I'm amazed that I still have healthy looking veggies growing this time of year. Some have fared better than others, but all in all, I can't really complain.

winter greens
In one mini hoop house, I have some Red Russian kale, Swiss chard, Tango lettuce and Rouge D'Hiver (red romaine) lettuce. The kale had suffered some slug damage but is on the rebound. When I harvested all of my tatsoi from this bed, I think I ended up harvesting all of the slugs as well. Since then, I have not noticed any further damage.

swiss chard
My Swiss chard is growing pretty slowly. I think I'll harvest a few leaves of chard and kale in a week or two but really, the focus now is on overwintering them.

tango and red romaine lettuce
I need to thin my lettuces, which I'll do next weekend. I sampled the Tango lettuce a few days ago and I have to say, it's pretty tasty - like traditional green leaf lettuce, but with much more of a pronounced flavor. My goal is to have mini heads of tango lettuce ready for Christmas.

winter greens 2
In another mini hoop house, I have some mache (not pictured), minutina, more tango lettuce and some potted greens. I sowed the seeds in this bed pretty late (in early and mid-October) and as you can see, germination has been pretty sporadic. I'll have to work on my soil fertility. Anyhow, I'm hoping to harvest the minutina around mid-winter and this sowing of tango lettuce sometime in late winter/early spring (that is, if it survives).

potted veggies
From left: wild arugula, Rouge D'Hiver lettuce, (sorry-looking) Swiss chard

I have found all of my greens covered in frost in the early morning, only to rebound a few hours later without displaying the slightest bit of damage. I'm hoping that the hoop houses will continue to protect my winter veggies as December descends upon us. I'll have to write an update on my other hoop houses in another post. How has your fall garden treated YOU this year?


  1. Wow. Everything looks so beautiful and fresh and GOOD! I am envious of your hoop houses...they're wonderful.

    And I wanted to say, given your gardening history with your father, your blog name is perfect! So creative...I love it!

  2. The greens look wonderful and are doing quite well under the hoop cover. I doubt that second area has fertility issues - if you miss seeding by a certain point it just becomes too late for a fall/winter crop. It's more a function of sun strength being too diminished rather than keeping them warm enough etc. At a certain point in the solar cycle the sun strength and day length just get too low and too short to support actual growth versus just surviving in place.

  3. Wow! Everything looks so beautiful. I love the way lettuce looks in the garden. our fall garden is doing well . We're harvesting carrots for the first time which is exciting.

  4. Very nice. You have so many things growing that I've never even heard of, I bet they're good though.

  5. Beautiful growth, Thomas!

    I agree with kipsapfg, the season is what has caused the low germination in your October planting, not your fertility. I bet this will be proven next spring as you plant your gardens.

    Everything that DID germinate seems to be growing really well in your hoop enclosures. It is so cool to see how long you can push growth. I am already missing simple lettuce and other greens.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Lettuce looks great! Perhaps next year you should start with chard earlier, so at this time you could harvest it.

  8. Your chard looks lovely if very small. My chard is bigger, but something has been eating it. I suspect our local turkeys, but I'm not really sure. It doesn't look like slug damage. If it were summer I would first think caterpillars, but I've checked closely and there aren't any.

    I'm going to be watching to see if you can overwinter your lettuce. I didn't succeed last year (not even trying this year). Well they survived the winter, but as soon as the ground started defrosting, the freeze/thaw cycles killed them then. My tunnels collapsed last year in the snow, so that didn't help.

  9. My chard has always been on the small side, but it is 'cut and come again' so maybe that explains it's size.

    Your kale looks fabulous, you give us all something to strive for next year Thomas, congrats on the successful Fall garden!!

  10. Marvelous ! I'm really impressed by how well your fall garden has done, Thomas. Looking forward to seeing how far it gets yet.

  11. Glad to see you are gardening on into the winter Thomas! I have great success with overwintered greens here in our Zone 6 area of southern Indiana. I haven't even sown mache yet, last year I got it in around Jan 1st. and it germinated and grew through the coldest months. Good luck with your garden and your blog.

  12. The hoop house crops look great. You must have good sun in your garden during the fall? I was just out this afternoon harvesting from my structures and transplanting a few things in. Won't be long now and they will be covered in snow. I really like your ruffly lettuce, never grown a lettuce like that before....

  13. Your garden really looks great! Do you get a lot of sun? That makes such a difference, one of my previous gardens was shaded through most of the winter and I could hardly grow a thing, even in my mild climate. And it probably is just the time of year that is causing low germination rates, a lot of veggies that will grow or at least survive in winter won't germinate in cold soil.

  14. My name is Bjorg Nina , I´m from Norway. I saw your blog by chance and find it very interesting.
    I try to explore some - to me- new blogs that deserve an award.
    Please, visit my blog, and I give you the award and a task included ;:O))
    Have a nice day!