I have to admit, I'm a little surprised how well our garden has done this Fall/Winter. I think I can attribute it to waiting until the end of September to start our seeds. I usually get a little too excited, plant everything earlier and then find myself disappointed when things don't grow as well.
Here's a look at what we planted this Fall, in case you missed it. The Apollo Arugula and Cilantro has taken off the most, as well as our Snap Peas. Everything else (lettuce, broccolini, kale, garlic) is doing well too; they have just taken a little longer.
We really wanted to continue to garden during the winter months, here in zone7a-b, that is usually December, January and most of February. We also planted ranunculus corms and knew those would have to be covered if we got got a deep freeze, but they also need air circulation, so they don't get moldy. I love the look of cold frames, but for the size we would have to build, it was going to be heavy and expensive.
That's when we decided to make a hoop house. We only made one for one of our beds. Everything in the other beds, can survive the frost or we can quickly cover them with a tarp if we get multiple days of below freezing temps.
If you are looking to garden this winter, a Hoop House is a great way to start and fairly inexpensive to build. Troster used PVC Pipes and a heavy plastic cloth. Sure, it's not beautiful, but it's only temporary and keeps our plants thriving. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make it:
• Drill bit that matches outer diameter of the pvc, 1 inch
• Rocks, patio pavers, something to hold down edges
• Drill holes in the wood on the edge of the bed on either side for pvc pipe to go in
• Put pvc in holes
• Cover in plastic
• Put rocks on edge to keep it down