Monthly Archives: January 2012

KEEPING MULCH SIMPLE

Dryish and cold, but not frigid, weather: What else is there to do outdoors, gardenwise, but mulch? (Pruning is best left until after the coldest nights of winter have passed, in late February.) Arborists dumped a large pile of wood chips near my neighbor’s garden and he spread all he could in paths and among berry bushes. What’s left is for me.
 

Not that I hadn’t myself been spreading mulches all through autumn. Compost went on the vegetable beds, wood chips from my own pile (long gone) beneath my berry bushes and around trees, and horse manure mixed with wood shavings beneath the young row of dwarf apple trees.
 
Mulch is one of those things in life that you can’t have too much of — if you’re a gardener — so I forked the neighbor’s wood chips into my garden cart and …

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SALAD TUNNELS & COLDFRAMES, AND INDOOR “PINE”


Cold has yet to throw a wrench into salads fresh from the garden — even though December 16th saw a night-time low of 12°F. Yes, the lettuce would be mush if unprotected but under the sheltering clear plastic and wooden sides of my 5 foot square cold frame, the plants are barely scathed. Just a few leaves wilted at their edges. Spinach that I sowed between the lettuce plants, for harvest after the lettuce is finished is still looking spry.
Plastic tunnels supported by wire hoops are offering almost as much cold protection over 3 garden beds. Beneath them, mustard greens, endive, and arugula don’t exactly thrive, but do survive.

A few fresh greens are even surviving out in the garden without any sort of protection whatsoever. That would include some arugula that was …

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