Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's Happening Around My Gardens

New England is well known for mean winters where nothing can grow unless you have a greenhouse. Over time, I have learned that some vegetables will grow, even outside in the cold, until about January.

I've had a lot of success with broccoli and Swiss chard right up through Christmas. Last winter was the first full winter with the greenhouse and I had a great time growing broccoli and chard inside all winter. They didn't necessarily produce a whole lot during the coldest times, but the plants were growing and didn't die.

Inside my greenhouse, it gets really warm during the days but because I didn't fork over the $500 to heat it with gas, once the sun goes down, it's just as cold inside as it is outside. I was very sad to learn that plants that can't take frost died in my greenhouse because frost happened even inside the greenhouse.

In the early spring, I caved and bought an electric space heater. I had it set to go on only if it got really cold and it wasn't supposed to heat the place, just keep it slightly warm. Warm enough that nothing could freeze. I wasn't sure if it was really doing the job or if there just weren't any nights of frost after I bought it.

While I was visiting my sister, we had some really cold nights at home and the heater must have done just enough because I came home to find this:


Geraniums croak with the first sign of frost, so I was happy to see not only that they were still alive but they are still flowering.


The tomatoes are still going strong, but with  no bees to pollinate, I think this is the last of them.


The indoor carrots are having a great time.


And the outdoor carrots are hanging  in there.


I grow carrot "balls" no matter what I do, but the horses don't care. 


These in the cinder blocks are a different variety, so maybe they will grow straight and long in their little "chambers".

The lavender didn't get the message that summer is over, so it's blooming its brains out.


  While pretty much everything in the gardens looks like this because of the frost:


The peas are going to town.  I threw these in very late, hoping I'd have the crazy success that I had in the cold spring months.  Peas and beans are "nitrogen fixers" which means that they replenish the soil after it's been exhausted by other plants.  I thought I'd replenish the soil and have a nice crop of peas as we go into winter. 


What I sort of wasn't thinking about was the need for pollinators to make that happen.  The peas are growing really well, but their flowers are just sitting there and I am pretty sure we don't have warm enough weather for the bees to come and do their job.

So, I'll let the peas grow and do all of their "fixing" but I guess we won't get to enjoy the peas themselves.  I need to remember next year that I should start them when school starts and then I will at least get to eat some before the bees are hiding for the winter.

I know I can go and "pollinate" the flowers myself, but I'm not about to run around with a q-tip doing that right now, so I'll just let the plants do their thing.  It's bad enough I've given in and I'm heating the greenhouse, ever so slightly.  I can't be spending my days wiggling pollen into and out of flowers!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments almost as much as I love summer. I reply to all comments except those ridiculous anonymous comments offering me dirty deeds and real estate. When you leave your comment, please make sure your own settings will allow me to reply to you. Nothing makes me sadder than replying to your comments and then realizing it's going to the no-reply@blogger address!