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Cold Winter Blues  RSS feed

 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 441
Location: Ohio, USA
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I've got the cold winter blues and I don't know what to do
Outside is slow and icey, inside there's warm stew
But that don't mean a lot because there's something new
I've got a new yard but I'm stuck inside with stew.

I've got some seedlings in a window sill
There snuggled next to lighting and out of the chill
Planting them is a bit of a thrill
But I sigh as I look outside in the yard cold and still

I've got almost 100 young plants coming along
From seed to second leaves, keeping them inside seems just wrong

To put them outside would kill them, but I'm running out of room
Do I keep them inside, under a cold frame, send them to their doom?

If their outside I might forget them- the icey cold could freeze them.
Inside their lanky, growing off season.

I want to farm year round and this just doesn't seem right.
Am I just stuck inside? I'll think on it again tonight.

From green houses to windows on hay bales, what spells the most success?
Maybe I should just wait a little, and give it all a rest.

There's one thing I know for sure, with more weeks between 30 and 2,
It's a cold, cold winter and I'm feeling those long cold winter blues.

 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 295
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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What zone are you in Amit. For the last month I've been growing strawberries, asparagus, garlic chives, and ground cherries in my cold frame. They are thriving with no supplemental heat. However, over the years I've discovered everything grows better around a big healthy compost pile. Heat from breakdown and thermal mass, nutrients leaking into the soil surrounding the pile I find it very useful. I hope this helps, and happy gardening.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 441
Location: Ohio, USA
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Hi Scott!

I'm in zone 5-6, midwest. I tumbled into town about the time fall was rolling in and didn't put gardening ahead of unpacking so I only got to clean a few old windows and throw some spinach under it. It is small and really not growing - though alive. However, we've had pipes freeze in our laundry room this year, so the cold frame can only do so much. And that means as much in temperature as it does in irrigation. We also had about 5 sunny days in the last 2 months, so we're a bit low on solar energy. Now we're unpacked and such but since the ground's frozen solid (I was walking on clods like rocks even though they were dark with moisture), I've got a way to go before my garden will be thriving. The plan I concocted is old strawbales + old wood boards from the basement + old windows = cold frame. Water with 60-ish degree warm water+ compost mix to help thaw the ground. Old juice cans upside-down in holes = Irrigation and temperature normalization. Wait a week or two to thaw and warm the frame (the sun seems to be visiting more often lately, so that'll be possible). Soak salad mix seed indoors for 24 hrs. Plant the mix when I expect 3+ days of sun in a row, irrigate the starts with warm water bottles at night, if necessary. Hope for the best. Interplant with onions 2-3 weeks after that, and other cold-tolerant crops 3-4 weeks after that. Save a row-like area for warmer crops and leave the galss on there for the warm-season crops to be planted at 4-5 weeks after the lettuce. Do you think that will work? I'll see what happens and then see if I can't do better for next year. My goal is all year long. I'm glad you got it.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 295
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Hello again Amit. A couple varieties that are very cold hardy are Egyptian onions, garlic (any kind), and garlic chives. The best thing about them is they are perennial. Three months ago I moved to fifteen acres that I'm turning into a permaculture farm. I've dedicated two acres to perennials growing on terraces. I believe it will be incredible when finished! It's a bit to early for this one but Fresno peppers are much like jalapeƱos except they are perennial as well. Nothing like planting once and harvesting forever. I hope this helps. Scott
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1220
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Your song made me laugh Amit. Here it's been a very very cold February (The frigging sewage line froze in the place I'm house sitting---my land has no house on it... yet), and right now we are experiencing a rise in temperature, and it's due to snow a lot and maybe even rain. After 35 below in recent days the warmer weather will be a bit welcome, but with four feet of snow on the ground, and the roads being a graded glaze of compact snow/ice, the concept of what rain will do to this is truly frightening!-and damn, I've had enough of shoveling... if it snows again!-shit. LOL but I love the snow. Been snowshoeing with the dog and tracking moose and rabbits. It's not the winter blues that have got me down, it's the coming Spring Breakup, slush and mud blues that are on the way that are going to make doing anything outside a fucking misery! Oh well. This is my paradise to create. LOL
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 441
Location: Ohio, USA
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Haha, well I thought I might not be the only one staring out the window this winter. Roberto - looks like things will get a little messy outside before it all clears up, but I guess that's just part of nature's way.

Scott - Jalapenos (all peppers really) are perennial with certain climates. I guess your saying Fresno's are a bit more cold hardy and may survive. Tomatoes are also perennial in tropical climates, but I'm far from tropical and there's only so many sunny windows in the house.

The cold frames are up and watered, half the barely seeded under plastic this morning, a soil sample is drying for nutrient analysis in the house, a bag of "top soil" is defrosted in the laundry room, and we're supposed to hit the 50's this weekend! Tonight I'll probably throw out the rest of the barely and cover it with packing materials. Tomorrow morning I'll probably put out the onions in the cold frame for the day and this weekend I'll give them a hot waterbottle, cover the ground with warm"top soil" + some warm drinking waterbefore nightfall to help get them adjusted. From there it should be all down hill into summer. Yay!
 
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