Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gearing up for Low Twenties!

Here in Austin Tx it is customary to garden through the Winter. It is often our best season.
Until the Winter i try to perennialize jalapeno plants and plant my broccoli and lettuce a little late.
My Texas gardening books say things like "garlic will be happy in the winter, unless we get one of those cold as heck winters that happened in the early nineties." Uh huh.  It's 2010 and I have sad garlic.

I've given up on the poblanos. Mostly given up on the jalapeno: no more light assistance but still covered in some layers of freeze cloth: you never know. Most the veggies seem to spring back somewhat once the morning light FINAally hits them, at 11 am. I would live on the low point of the street with my house blocking am light during winter hours. And it's only been a start. This week/weekend is calling for temps in the low twenties that could feel like the TEENS with the wind. This is some of the coldest weather we've had in Austin for 15 years.

I'm not giving in though: i fight the frost! Tent City has been resurrected. Christmas lights border the edges and the heat lamp has been stolen from The Ladies' coop and inserted under the sheets to hopefully provide yummy warmth to the broccoli, kale, and mesclun greens through the coolest of nights (and hopefully not a brush fire.) What about The Ladies though: they're not used to cold-as-heck weather either. I plan on wrapping their coop with a tarp today to seal out the wind. Hopefully they'll get by with their down covered bodies adn no heat lamp.  I'm also strolling through the various raised beds I've been ignoring and piling up old leaves (thank you, leaf filled back yard) to cover some of the green garlic tips - we'll see if that helps AT all or if the leaves all blow off and i'm left with no harvest from a rather spendy garlic crop.

So wish me luck. I want to eat those broccolis, not watch them feed the compost.

Do you garden down here in the south? Are you trying to save your Winter plantings or letting them frost like "normal" gardens do in the Winter?

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