Preparing for Cold Weather

The most recent weather forecast shows that it is supposed to get down to 35 tonight, 29 on Thursday night, and 30 on Friday night. Now, most of the greens we have in the garden will tolerate those temperatures with minimal problems. However, I’m planning to cover two of  the beds to keep them over the winter. They will do better if I cover them a day before the cold temperatures set in, because the covers will keep the soil warmer or even warm it up a little bit. On the other hand, it is supposed to be 70 on Saturday/Sunday, with overnight temps in the 40s. That is really a little bit warm to have row covers on, especially the plastic row cover. I might end up putting the fabric row covers on both beds, and then switching one out for plastic in a few weeks. I’ll let you know what I do!

Regardless of what I’m going to do with the row covers, I did harvest some things yesterday, partly so the row covers would fit better!

I hacked back the arugula, since it was over-grown, over-sized, and hadn’t been harvested heavily enough. I probably got about 2 lbs of arugula from that little 4 foot row. I also picked a lot of the larger chard leaves. I sense more Swiss Chard & Sweet Potato Gratin coming! The kale also got a heavy trimming, but I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet. Soup, saute, casserole…so many options.

The other thing I harvested was a bunch of larger daikon radishes – regular daikon, green meat, and Mantanghong varieties. I’m planning to make fresh pickles with the radishes for our Master Gardener class tomorrow. If that happens, I’ll definitely be posting a recipe and some pictures.

Harvesting the radishes prior to cold weather is kind of a strange thing to do… I’m trying to keep them going into the winter, and the larger ones will last longer in cold weather. However, I also needed to thin them out some, which will help the others grow. So…I may not get any more harvestable radishes out of the areas where I pulled these, in which case it wouldn’t have made a difference in volume, just when I had radishes to eat.

Of course, if you still have any tomatoes or peppers languishing in your gardens, now is the time to pick anything that you want to keep, because freezing temperatures will put an end to them!


About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on November 3, 2010, in Around the Garden, Working in the Garden and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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