All Snugged Up

It's that time of year again: Frost is on its way. That means it's time to get our butts in gear and protect our fall veggies from getting nipped back by the cold. With proper care, leafy greens should last through year's end, and leeks and carrots will be fine all winter (though there's no guarantee we'll be able to get to them, but they'll survive nonetheless).

We never, ever manage to take care of this until the very day temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. This year there's the whole kitchen thing, but there's always something. The trouble with that is that, without fail, the day we put up the tunnels us the windiest, coldest day of the fall.

Today was no exception. The streak is alive.

Still, we got it done. This year we put our longest ever tunnel in place:

This stretches the full 27 feet across our longest bed along the brick path. Inside are leeks, beets, turnips, bok choy, mesclun, and a handful of carrots.

We also covered some other patches:

The cold frame to the left has spinach and mâché, and the plastic tunnel to the right has beets, arugula, bok choy, and turnips. The tunnel in the foreground is covered in row cover fabric instead of plastic, but that's just temporary. Inside are kale and Swiss chard, which are tough enough to withstand the cold until its down in the 20s. Good thing, since we're out of plastic sheeting. Once we pick some up, we'll re-cover that one properly.

A bonus from our kitchen remodel? New old windows to cover our cold frames. This one is actually using our old kitchen storm door, so it should be heavy enough not to blow away, no matter how windy it gets.


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