What a Little Sunlight Can Do

So, the last time we checked in on the garden it was back in January some time, right before a cold snap came through and killed all the broccoli.  Since then we have been working on other stuff, and we’ve pretty much ignored the garden, figuring it could take care of itself until spring.

Well, spring is officially here as of last week, and check this out:


The broccoli came back!  (Nice job, broccoli).  And it brought some buddies, too:


Right next to the broccoli are some turnip greens, there are some carrots growing in front of that, and there’s some spinach, lettuce, and escarole growing along the front.  Under one of the smaller frames we found some kale, arugula and turnip greens:


And here’s a really nice turnip:


Sweet, right?  And to think that while we have been hibernating inside all winter eating cookies, the garden has been out there doing some serious work.

Anyway, a few notes about the cold frames: as we’ve said in previous posts, this is our first year using cold frames, and the whole idea is to keep the plants insulated and warm. Well, it’s definitely warm in there.  Surprisingly warm, in fact, and maybe even warmer than certain parts of certain houses that certain people insist on keeping at a near sub-zero temperature….ahem.

Another surprise was that the ground was really dry out there and definitely needed some water. I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising, given that the whole thing is basically under a tarp, but you’d figure with condensation and all….in any event, if you’re going to try this at home, be sure to check under the frames now and then to make sure the plants have enough water.

And finally, the best part about the cold frames is that they have allowed us to start our garden earlier this year.  Last year at this time it was definitely warmer, but we were still in the process of moving things around (like the compost box, which we moved twice), and we hadn’t even started planting yet.  This year is colder, but we will have a bit of a head start (we’re starting today, actually), and we’ll just keep the plants covered under the cold frames until it warms up a bit.