Monday, November 2, 2009

A clean slate.

At first I was sad that summer was over. Me. Sad. That summer was over. Me. Who hates the heat. And sweat. I was sad because it meant the end of gardening season.
But...there is such a thing as fall and winter gardening, come to find out. Who knew? I decided to give it a try.
I cleaned up the garden yesterday.

No more beans. No more tomatoes. The only thing left are a few measly pepper plants that are still trying to produce. I have to say, there is something equally as beautiful in fresh soil...a clean slate. The possibilities are endless. It's a far cry from two months ago!
As soon as I'm done here, I'm heading outside to plant these...

Kale, chard, lettuce, peas, chives, parsley and parsnips. Wait. What was that? Parsnips? I don't even know what a parsnip is...or what it even tastes like. But...I read somewhere that it can grow in the winter. So...I'm giving it a try. If we like them, great. If we don't...I hope the chickens DO! I'm not sure how the peas will do...I may be really late for them. But I'm trying them anyway. The packet of seeds was like 97 cents. So...it will be an inexpensive experiment.
This...is a cold frame.


Chris built it for me when we first moved into our house...12 years ago. I had grand ideas of what this little house would be...and a big part of that was going to be a nicely landscaped backyard, to include a beautiful vegetable garden.
Well, life happened. And continued to happen. And before we knew it...12 years had passed and still no backyard landscape. I did try a garden here and there...feeble attempts every other year or so. But nothing that really ever took off. And I never used the cold frame either..notice it still has no lid.
Well, that's gonna change. Chris has some Plexiglas at the shop that might fit the top of the cold frame. It should be easy enough to frame the "glass" in and hinge it to the top of the cold frame. And voila! One more tool to use in the garden!
And I have the perfect spot for it...right where the compost heap is now.
Right in front of the ladder...that was home to the birdhouse gourd vine just a few months ago...is the compost pile. See the stringy bean plants and a pile of dryer lint? I'm going to move that further back and then put the cold frame right there. It's the perfect spot...or at least the spot that makes the most sense in my small garden. It gets sunlight and a bit of shade...so I'm thinking it will be ideal. We'll see...I've never used a cold frame before...so it will be something new to learn for the coming season.
I thought I was too late for a winter garden...and I may be for some of these things. But if nothing else, it's breaking the ice for me. If I do it now...and try just a little something here and there...it gives me more experience and more confidence for next year. Which I'm already planning by the way. Gardening. It's contagious!



9 comments:

dmoms said...

yes, it is sunny out today and I want to get outside - i have the exact plans as you!

Tammy James said...

Oh Parsnip ...yum ... sweet Earthy warming winter parsnips.
Good luck with the garden

The Cottage Comtesse said...

I'm curious what your zone is? Do you know? We are zone 7 and I'm not sure what I can grow at this point in the year. We were down to 19 degrees one night, but back up to 78 today!

Parsnips... Love these! Like a big yellow, whitish carrot, but different in taste. I like to roast them with potatoes and carrots tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. After they roast, just add a bit of red wine vinegar. Very tasty!

It's me ...Mavis said...

2 things... #1 I never thanked you for the girls... Thank you. I am going to be picking them up this weekend and am anxious to see them. #2 I built a cold frame last fall with grand hopes of growing winter vegi's... but sadly I forgot to "open" the glass top and I think they all fried one day in the hot sun... I ended up using the "cold frame" to grow tomatoes this past summer... so all was not lost. I wish you good luck with your cold frame it's a great idea... :)

Michelle said...

Thanks for the comments ladies! D...I hope you got your planting done!

Tammy...thanks for the encouragement about the parsnips...I'm excited to try one!

Comtesse...I'm zone 9. And the only reason I am even considerring planting anything is because the CSA guy said it wasn't too late. So I'm going for it! As far as the parsnips...I figured they'd be good roasted...but never would have thought about that splash of vinegar...yum!

Mavis...I know it probably wasn't funny THEN but I am cracking up about roasting the poor little plants...ONLY because it is something that I would do, too!

Nancy said...

No winter garden here...too darn cold and too much snow. Good for you for jumping right in. Good luck!

Louisiana Laura said...

Can't wait to see how it turns out. :)Looking forward to the spring too.

Lynn said...

It's fun to read about your gardening adventures; this is my first time visiting here. A winter garden sounds like a great idea. We are considering the same thing. We're pretty new to gardening, but had great luck this summer with tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers, etc. So I think we've got the bug, too. I'll be eager to hear how your winter garden progresses :)

Beegirl said...

Your backyard is great! Loving your cold frame too! Did you get your seeds in?