Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The First Harvest of 2012!

The winter garden is plugging along. In past years I covered our home veg beds with plastic, this kept them warmer but the poor air circulation contributed to disease problems, so this year I covered the beds with Agribon row cover. The Agribon allows light, water, and air to pass through, but protects the plants from wind and keeps them a few degrees warmer than if they were uncovered. This year has been a lot milder than the past few, so I can't make a real fair comparison to the performance of the plastic to Agribon, however, I do see a few advantages to the Agribon:

  • Noise: the Agribon row cover is quiet in the wind. The plastic made a huge racket on windy nights, the neighbors never complained, but I did worry about keeping them awake.
  • Heat: I haven't had to open the fabric up on warm sunny days (or remember to re-cover them by nightfall)
  • Moisture: Although this winter has been pretty dry, the beds have done just fine on their own, not too wet and not too dry; just right. I did water them once last month with fish fertilizer.

Both the plastic and the Agribon have one other un-advertised benefit: they keep the dogs out! Last night the dogs were out in the garden when I went out to pick greens for the Man of the Houses Valentine's dinner, as soon as Barberry heard the metal mixing bowl hit the gravel by the beds, he was right by my side anticipating the first harvest of 2012!

Tuscan Blue Rosemary, Giant Winter Spinach, Lacinato Kale
and Bright Lights Chard

I picked rosemary to add to whole wheat dried tomato bread, and greens to braise with Oregon Albacore Tuna. I'll pick the broccoli in a few days; it has decent sized center heads and lots of small side heads to pick later.

Giant Winter Spinach & Lacinato Kale
Broccoli, variety unknown

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