The Backyard

The Backyard

Friday, January 20, 2012

Final Harvest Followed by Ground Freezing Temps - Hello Winter

Central Pennsylvania winters are truly unpredictable.  Some years we have snow cover from November to March (seldom), other winters are near snowless.  This year is no different.  A freak snowstorm on October 29 dumped several inches that melted rather quickly.  Today is the first we saw a blanket of snow since that time.  Tonight the prediction is 3-5 inches.   Which leads me to what's going on garden-wise during that time?  As suspected, not much since I don't have winter hoop houses (on my wish list).  I harvested the last of my carrots just after Christmas when forecasters were calling for ground-freezing temperatures. I got 6 pounds worth.  Since then, it's been cold and everything that was harvestable up until Christmas is now finished.  I was picking bits and pieces of swiss chard, kale, and spinach until about a week ago.   The attention now shifts to cooking and seed starting the next two months.  I'll try to post tips on using harvests from the freezer and other odd and end winter gardening thoughts.   I do this all in-between another endeavor I started besides helping my elderly parents: training for a couple ultra hikes/runs this summer.  I signed up for 4 hikes ranging from the shorter 7 miler in March to the queen hike in September of full marathon length - 26 miles. The hikes are all on rough, rocky, central Pennsylvania terrain.  April's hike is 16 miles with non-stop mountainous views of what they call the Central Pennsylvanian Grand Canyon.  Since I'm retired now, I have the time to garden AND hike AND care for my parents.  The hiking and gardening are my therapy.   Bring on spring and summer!


Porch Days said...

Snow for two days here in CT. The first since that Oct. storm. I'm tending my houseplants and looking forward to spring and gardening.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Sonds like you have a lot going on.
Where I am from we only had one small snow nothing much but the warm temperatures are confusing the plants and birds.

brett said...

hey, Hyner doesn't look down upon the PA grand canyon! And I'm confused--thought these were trail runs? or are you planning to hike them now? what's up, buttercup?

Chili said...

Brett! I'll likely run part/hike part with an larger percentage being hiking. ooops.. thought hyner was the grand canyon.

The Happy Hippy said...

Seems I just missed a load of snow all over Europe this weekend. Shame, would love to have seen it. Sounds like you have plenty going on to keep you super busy and super fit!