Friday, November 9, 2012

Season Finale

Well, the season finale as far as gardening is concerned is usually not too spectacular.  Plants have died off from the cold, been pulled from the beds and piled next to the compost bin waiting for spring to be shredded in the chipper and added back in to the compost mix.  I found that if the vines and plant material are too green, they tend to clog and gum up the chipper so we have found it better to wait until they have dried out and are brittle.

We have cleaned the beds and tucked them in to rest .  By this I mean covered the soil with a protective insulating blanket.  I put chipped leaves in 2 beds and used wood chips for the rest.  Last year I tried to use whole leaves as the cover and they just blew out of the beds for the most part.

Another thing we did to prepare for the winter was to pull the tomato and pepper plants from the green house, where they produced a couple weeks longer than the outside plants.   Next we transplanted some chard from the raised beds in hopes of extending the growing season a bit to have fresh chard another month or so.  There are three different varieties of chard in the below picture: Perpetual Spinach Chard, Rainbow Chard and Swiss Chard.  Last year we had chard all winter because of the mild temperatures.  We may have to cover these with a layer of remay cloth to keep them from getting too cold this winter.  The hanging baskets have baby greens in them that Shannon cuts for salads.

My main winter project is to come up with a watering solution for next year.  Watering by hand is too time consuming.  I am leaning heavily on customizing a complete solution using DripWorks products.  This will require tubes, valves, connectors, emitters, galore.  I will need to measure and sketch up (in CAD of course) the existing layout to get accurate info for connector counts and hose lengths etc.  There is an array of options to choose from so it will take some planning, and testing to find the best setup.  I may need to buy some of the different sprayers and emitters for testing purposes.