Elkstone winter hoops Elkstone spinach Elkstone turnips

We’re heading into our third winter of growing in our unheated hoop houses.  We are sticking with some old standbys  that have proven successful, such as Napoli carrots, Space spinach, bunching kales (Toscano, Ripbor, and Redbor) and our salad mix of green and red mizunas, arugula, tatsoi, Red Giant mustard, and Red Russian kale.  We are also experimenting with a few more types of root crops, including Hakurei turnips and Merlin and Touchstone Gold beets.   So far, the turnips are very successful and delicious.  Beets, not so much.  They were showing signs of Cercospora so we pulled them before they infected the spinach.  We also have started some spinach to transplant out into the beds where the directly sown spinach failed to germinate.  Halloween saw our final direct sowing for the winter season.  We have been covering every night with Agribon 30, and adding layers of Ag 50 or 70 when the forecast projects temperatures below 20 degrees.  So far this winter has been… weird, with lows dropping into the negative teens and 3 feet of snow falling in one November storm, but December has been unseasonable dry and warm.  Bring it on, winter!  We’re ready and waiting.

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