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Monday, January 16, 2012

Starting my Winter Garden

Here in Raleigh, North Carolina, there are a variety of things we can plant in the cold winter that don't mind the frosts and freezes of Zone 7b this time of year.  Some of them can be planted in January, like peas and onions.  In February, we can plant quite a few more things, including spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and potatoes.  It's only January 16th, but I want to get some things started a little early.

So, I built myself a "Cold Frame" of sorts.  Basically, I spent about $15 at home depot to buy five 10' lengths of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe, along with six 90 degree elbow joints, 3 T joints, and a 9'x12' 2 mil plastic drop cloth from the paint section.  I'm not going to go into detail here, but here is a picture of the finished project.

I divided the bed into 4 quadrants and planted bunching green onions, sweet spanish yellow onions, romaine lettuce, and spinach.  Of course, prior to planting I prepped the bed by weeding it, dumping in a load of compost from my compost tumbler, and turning it all as well as I could.  And, leftover from last year, there is some very healthy "Garlic Chives" that don't seem to mind the cold at all.

I also decided to plant some sweet peas in a neighboring bed.  Sweet Peas don't need protection so these are planted out in the open.

Still happy in this bed is (from top to bottom), Rosemary, cilantro, and oregano.  The cilantro actually came back as it did not enjoy the summer heat at all.  I knew the Rosemary would survive as it's very hardy and is sometimes used for landscaping around here.  I thought the oregano would die like the basil upon first frost, but it seems to be doing quite nicely.

For my own records... I'm adding the specific varieties here.  All Ferry-Morse seeds...

  • Onion, Sweet Spanish Yellow Utah Jumbo
  • Onion, Evergreen Bunching
  • Lettuce, Parris Island (Romaine)
  • Spinach, Bloomsdale (Long Standing)
  • Peas, Alaska (Wilt Resistant)

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