Thursday, June 5, 2014

Self Watering Container Pots and Winter Vegetable Gardening

The frost is coming! The frost is coming!
Originally posted 11-28-09

 Pure Black Castings            VermaPlex             VermaMax

Hope you'all had a great Thanksgiving.  I know I did.  I'm absolutely stuffed.

Our Thoughts Turn To Winter Vegetable Gardening

With the first real frost of the season forecasted for last night, we were scrambling around yesterday trying to save our pepper plants, tomato plants, cherry tomato plants, okra plants (yes, they're still producing), corn (please hold on, little ears, you can make it!), and pole beans.

For Thanksgiving, we had a great big "mess" of beans, okra, tomatoes and peppers from our self-watering container garden.  What we couldn't eat, we put in the 'fridge. 

Okra beans and peppers from winter self-watering container garden
Thanksgiving Feast From Our Self-Watering Container Garden

Winter Gardening Means Protecting Your Fall Vegetables

That left the still ripening fruit to worry about.  Knowing the frost was expected last night, we picked off the green tomatoes from the towering indeterminate Brandywine tomatoes.  There was no way to cover these giants.  The tomatoes are in window sills slowly ripening up.  We hauled the cherry tomato and green pepper plants to the green house and carted the corn containers to the south side of the house beside the still-blooming okra.

Corn in self-watering container pots
Gotta move'em, Bill

This morning, just before sunrise, when they let me out (earlier than usual, all that turkey and stuffing, ya know),  we hosed down the corn, okra and beans, 'cause there was a bit of frost on them.  Not bad, but enough to burn them.  The beans may not make it, there was no way to protect or move them since they were staked and up too high to cover..... 

Be right back.

.....Just checked the corn, okra and beans.  By hosing off the frost before the sun hits them, there doesn't seem to be any damage.  If you leave the frost on the vegetables, when the sun hits, the cells in the plants explode and poof! there goes your plant.

Vegtables in Pots For Our Winter Garden

For our winter vegetable garden, we have some collards and kale going in their self-watering pots and, of course, they're loving this cooler weather.  With our mild winters, we should be able to keep them growing all winter until the first hot weather in the spring.

Kale and collards in self-watering container garden
Great Winter Vegetable Gardening Plants Collards and Kale

The Trials of Winter Vegetable Gardening

We'll probably be able to keep the cherry and pepper plants going in the greenhouse until the first really hard freeze.  But, maybe, just maybe, we can keep the green house warm enough so the peppers will keep on going.

One way to heat a green house without using electricity is to fill a black barrel with water and put it in the green house.  (Better yet, put the barrel in the green house first, then fill it. No since in giving yourself a hernia, Bill.)  The solar radiation will heat the water through the day, which will help maintain the temperatures of the green house overnight.  We'll be trying this idea over the winter  to see how it works out.  We do have to worry here in Central Florida about the green house getting too hot when the temp's rebound, but that's no big-y.
Hold it. Hold it... Do I smell turkey left-overs?  Gotta go!

Certified Organic Container Garden Fertilizer Resources:

Black Worm Castings and Vermaplex for container pots
Organic Worm Castings Fertilizers


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