Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Planting the winter garden

Asparagus seeding out

As the last of the tomatoes & eggplant are being harvested and the herbs are about ready to pick and dry for winter use, I am beginning to plant my winter garden. For the past few years I have wanted to plant crops for winter harvest but always seemed to be too busy to get them planted. Last year I did manage to get carrots in which we harvested until January - they were absolutely delicious! This year I planned ahead and was able to start seeds and plant on time. I started cabbage (red and savoy), broccoli and cauliflower seeds in soil blocks on a heat mat in the beginning of August. A week later I was able to transplant them into larger flats in the greenhouse. After a minor attack from cabbage worms they are in the garden and growing nicely.

Floating row cover on lettuce

Cabbage plants
I direct sowed carrots, romaine lettuce, fall & winter lettuce, mache, spinach and kale on September 13th. By the 16th almost everything had started to come up. The night temps have been in the 50's with daytime temps in the 70's, other than being dry the weather has been perfect. I have 4' x 4' x 1' wire baskets covering the plants with row covers on top. In a week or two I am going to build "mini greenhouses" to cover the plants for the winter.  I am planning on making three 4' x 12' mini greenhouses to start with and will be covering them with plastic to protect the plants from the winter frost.
Spinach Seedling
Lettuce Seedlings
The mini greenhouses will be running east to west with hinged lids on the south side. They should be adequate to keep the plants from freezing and help keep unwanted pests out. In the spring I will remove the plastic and replace with row covers to start next spring's crop. You can find great books by Eliot Coleman on growing a winter harvest in my resources section.


  1. Wonderful! Looks like you'll be having fresh veggies well into the throws of winter! You are doing a great job of keeping yourself and your family healthy! Thank You for Sharing! You are an inspiration!

  2. Thank you Jodi. My first attempt at a winter garden seems to be off to a good start. I will be nice to have fresh veggies from the garden in the winter. Thanks for reading!

  3. I'm new to your blog. Your seedlings look great! I'm hoping to get a mini greenhouse for Christmas, it's on my wishlist! I'm from CA but live in the mountains where it gets low to 36 degrees f. It's almost snow season and I'm not sure about what to do with the vegetable garden. Being new to veggie gardening, I had a pretty decent harvest from Spring to Summer growing from seeds. I'm still learning!

  4. Hi Priscilla,
    By the end of this week we are supposed to get frost so I am hoping to get the mini greenhouses built by Saturday. In the fall I usually pull out all the plants after they are done producing and cover the gardens with crushed leaves from our maple trees. I throw kitchen scraps in throughout the winter and the worms turn leaves and all into compost by spring. If anything is left when I am ready to plant I just put it on the compost pile. Thanks for reading!