Friday, October 31, 2014

What's Going On In The Garden This Week?

This week has been all about radishes and impending cold weather.

We have had 2 light frosts in the past week here in the Pittsburgh area, but these were the first of the year.  In our garden, I am getting the 2 beds I plan to overwinter covered with hoops.  I used 10' lengths of 1/2" electrical conduit bent on a hoop-bender to cover the 4' beds.  The hoop bender is sold by Johnny's Selected Seeds, and is also available locally for members to check out from Grow Pittsburgh's Garden Resource Center.  This "quick hoop" method is Eliot Coleman's chosen low tunnel recipe.  He uses lightweight row cover and then a layer of plastic over that when real winter descends.  I have had luck just using a single layer of the thickest grade row cover available.  Other hoop materials could be used as available.  At Garden Dreams we use gas pipe stuck onto 14" rebar stakes.

Misato Rose Radish & Danvers Carrots (alternate rows)
I experimented with planting rows of radishes alternating with carrots, intending to pull the radishes as the carrots needed the space.  This is kind of working.  I am really loving the radish variety, Misato Rose, available from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  It is a beautiful, large watermelon radish that grows great in the fall and bulbed up very easily.  However, the greens are much larger than say, a Cherry Belle or French Breakfast radish.  These huge greens shaded the carrots a bit more than planned, and since they are slower to mature than other radishes, they are hanging around in the ground longer.  I harvested maybe 1/6 of them yesterday, the largest bulbs, and thinned the carrots. This batch of radishes is destined for fermentation....this time in a 5 gallon bucket.

Misato Rose Radish and Chocolate Habaneros
I found any washing and trimming I can do in the garden saves mess and time in the kitchen later.  Some day I'll have a tricked-out garden wash station dream sink, but for now a hose and buckets works.  Trimming off the greens stems and giving them straight to the chickens saves me that task later.

3 piles: radishes, greens, and greens stems for chickens
These radish greens are huge!  Might as well cook 'em up.

The greens on these radishes are very large! Think turnips.
Here are my beds, half way to being winterized.  This 1/2" electrical conduit is pushed 14" into the ground and seems very sturdy.  

2 beds that will be overwintered with hoops in place

No comments:

Post a Comment