Winter gardening still hanging on

The winter gardening continues, and I’m pleased to say that my softneck garlic appears to have done well this go round as have any number of unwanted plants such as wild ferns and crabgrass.

Funny thing about protecting the plants with row covers – the unwanted plants tend to flourish, too. I haven’t used any herbicides simply because I wanted my garden to be au naturel. Well, I’m going to have to find an organic method.

In spite of Mother Nature’s surprise visitors, my garlic appears to be thriving. In the past, Virginia winters weren’t favorable for my softneck garlic, which grows better in places like California where the winter climate is milder. This winter, though, I covered the softneck garlic (I’m not sure of the variety.) with row covers or TunLCover™, to be exact.

White Lisbon Bunching Onions

White Lisbon Bunching Onions

In December, about 12 or more inches of snow covered all of the TunLCover™, so I ended up out there with gloved hands, trying to remove all of the snow from the covers. This action worked; however, I don’t when I’ve been so sore from working in the garden. I must have spent about two hours trying to remove all of that snow and ice, but fortunately, the covers remained intact.

Now that spring’s just around the corner and the temps have eased up some, the veggie garden appears productive. My bunching onions planted in the winter of 2009 have already reappeared. I sowed the White Lisbon Bunching variety, which turned out well. And the snow didn’t harm them at all, though the deer were at a loss for something to eat and chewed the onions down to the roots. This year, the deer couldn’t get to the cabbage, which was covered up.

Though I’m hopeful now for a beautiful veggie garden, I know the crabgrass and ferns will soon – some already have – try to overtake the rows. And I’ll spend my time pulling and plucking.

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