Winter can be a difficult time to grow plants, especially those that can’t survive in the cold. For this reason, I had to be creative and use winter tunnels to continue my gardening hobby even during this unfavorable time.
Currently, I have planted winter greens like spinach, broccoli, arugula, kale, and escarole in my winter tunnels. These plants are tough and I knew they would do well in winter.
Last week, I decided to check up on my winter tunnels to see how my plants were doing. As expected, I had to dig about one foot of thick snow under the ground.
Checking on Winter Tunnels
Checking on winter tunnels was challenging and fun at the same time as I had to dig the snow on each bed’s side. It took a lot of time to complete the process. Fortunately, I managed to lift the tunnel’s plastic covers.
I was actually expecting to see healthy-looking plants; however, I was disappointed because they were a little bit dryer than I had expected. Although every plant was alive, I was still disappointed because they looked small and unhealthy. This is not something any gardener wants to see or experience.
In the past few years of my gardening journey, I had opened my tunnels even when raining. I usually experience useful rainstorms during the winter seasons— but it seems like I have neglected and failed to take care of my tunnels this year. Well, the acceptable news is that all the plants were still alive. Undeniably, winter plants are strong and tough plants. Thus, to give more hope, I watered them, shoveled more snow into their beds before covering them again.
Plastic Covers Help to Generate Heat
I hope that the snow would quickly melt soon because of the sun’s warmth. The plastic covers also help to generate more heat to accelerate the process of melting snow on the winter plants.
Once I had done all I could, I decided to let it be for the meantime and check again after a few more days. I learned that constant checking is necessary to know whether they need additional snow sprinkles or not.
Another thing that I have observed from plastic tunnels is that as soon as I have an ample moisture amount inside, it does not really evaporate anywhere. Instead, it remains inside the tunnels, keeping the soil and air moist and nice. Consequently, this ensures that my plants are hydrated in a given period of time.
My children were actually very glad as soon as they saw my plants inside the plastic tunnel. They said it was greener and healthier than they thought it could be. But for me, it was less than I expected— but that’s okay. There should always be room for error when it comes to your plants. Besides, the winter season is not the best season of all.
You Can not Always Check Your Plants
It is difficult to always go out to check on your plants and water them in equal intervals. It is not easy to travel across your backyard or along snow-covered roads just to maintain your gardens. What is important is you are able to create a sustainable environment for them— to help them make it through the cold season.
I have been experimenting with planting winter broccoli. Well, I have to admit that this is one of the most fun experiences I had before winter came. Currently, my winter broccolis are growing fine and is forming some small heads already.
But sadly, in my case, their texture is still not as hard as I expected. Broccolis are preferably fresh and crunchy. It should be like kale— sweet and tender. But for its texture, kale and broccoli should not be alike.