Saturday, February 17, 2007

Last big snowfall of the year?
Gardening in Ottawa

A bad poem to winter garden by:
(My kids are 1 and 3 - that's my excuse)

Cold coldframe

Where oh where did my coldframe go?

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Here it is, under the snow.

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What's inside? Soon to be seen.

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Is there something actually green?

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Mizuna you actually survived!

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Swiss chard, you too are alive.

Next year, I must start more under glass.

If only I had weeded out all the grass...

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U-hmmm.... the end.

Right, if you look closely you may be able to see that a chunk of sod that I must have carelessly tossed aside is growing quite well in my coldframe. Which makes me wonder again why we bother growing grass in hot, dry climes when clearly it is a cool weather crop. Really coool weather.

Update on season extension - year 1

The ground is still frozen in all but the center of the 6 mil 'spaceship'. I have sown some chicory and lettuce for a lark. I figure if it works for mini-greenhouse, such as in winter sowing, maybe it will work for big ones too. We'll see. I also threw in some snap peas in the centre of the spaceship too - just a few as an experiment.

Double wrapped inside the spaceship, under glass swiss chard has been biding its time and has started to grow again. Parsley in the coldframe is unhappy but I have faith that it will resurrect soon. Welcome longer days. Welcome warmer weather.

So far, I like season extension. It's heart warming to see something green surrounded by snow.


Long term weather forcast for Ottawa calls for warmer temps
Snow cover statistics can be found on this weather page. Notice how in April it says 0 days... only a month and a half away!
Complicated Stats from Environment Canada including average soil temps for the year.

Good books from the Ottawa public library:

  1. The four season harvest by Coleman
  2. The 12 month gardener
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Patrick said...

It's really nice to see a post about using a coldframe, I don't remember seeing this in a blog before. Honestly, until the last year or so I've never really been clear on the concept, and not many people around here seem to use them. It seems like it would help a lot when it comes to hardening off seedlings in the spring.

The biggest problem I have is near hurricane force winds in the winter, so I would need to build something very strong. Maybe I will give it a try this coming year.

Redbeard said...

Wow - educational and poetic. Not often one hits that combination with the winter gardening obsessed.

I was wondering if you ever listen to Ed Lawrence on CBC radio's All In A Day (noon-2pm on Mondays). I've never heard him comment on over-wintering aspects of gardening, and living here in Ottawa, we could really use more advise!

Vicki said...

If you had a rock garden then you wouldn't have to worry about the winter months. And it would be a nice reflection of your former geologically-inclined self. But then again, you can't eat rocks so I s'pose that isn't the best idea if you're aiming for edibles...

Ottawa Gardener said...

Vicki, I do have a rock garden - it's siltstone (I think) from a blasting site.

Redbeard: Thanks, I try. Yup, heard Ed Lawrence, even read his book which could be summarized as 'highlights of'.