My square foot winter garden is here

snow covered winter gardenCan you believe there’s a garden back there? That’s thirteen inches of snow my low tunnel endured! Wow! We had more snow yesterday than we did all of last year. I had several low tunnel/winter gardening classes at my home this fall. Several of the participants doubted that the hoops would be strong enough to withstand a serious snow storm. I assured them that it would and here’s the proof that it does.

Often times in northern Utah after a snow storm we get very cold night temperatures with the clear skies. I like to keep the snow on the hoops as an insulator for a couple of days until it warms up a bit. To do that I use a broom to sweep the snow off the top. Another thing about the snow is that it seals the tunnel completely along the base of the garden. Thats perfect for me because I don’t bury any of my coverings. I keep the material taut and then weigh everything down with 5 gallon bucket filled with water-which are now ice. These are certainly heavy enough to hold things in place. And this winter we’ve had 2 days of 50 and 70 MPH winds.

Tomorrow I’ll broom a portion of the snow off and lift the top up to harvest enough salad greens to last us for a few days. It’s easy to do because the protective covers have been pulled tight along the length of the hoops. Lettuce, spinach, mizuna, and carrots will be the choice this week. Spinach, claytonia, and chard next week. A different lettuce, minutina, beet greens, and tokyo bekana the week after. I wish I could tell you how fun it is to eat seasonally like this.

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