Last fall I planted some spinach to winter over to have this spring as early greens. It isn’t necessary to have it in cold frames but it does come on  earlier and  with better yields if it is.

I planted some lettuce in between the rows of spinach, thinking it would grow enough for a later fall/early winter crop but planted it later than I had wanted to and then December hit with below average temperatures.

A week or so ago I checked to see how the spinach was doing and was pleasantly surprised to find the lettuce looking good so we  have been having a few lettuce thinnings for lunch. It was a light snow this morning but I wanted to get a picture of the lettuce so I pushed back the window covering  one of the cold frames to get this shot.

There is a bunch of a winter weed, Gill Over Ground, that needs to be weeded out so it is hard to distinguish the spinach but the lettuce stands out. The spinach looks vital and also needs thinning.

Next to the cold frames is my strawberry beds, all snuggled in their straw covering.  Note the heron sculpture in the strawberries that Vidya brought home from one of her craft shows that she had traded gourds for. It looked good wading in the green leaves of the bed last year and still looks good wading in the straw now.

I just googled when to remove the straw mulch and found this:

“When to Remove

“Remove the straw in the spring as soon as there are signs of new leaf growth under the straw (usually in late April). New growth under the straw is indicated when new leaves become a pale yellow color. Some of the straw (about ¼) can be left on the plants and plants will grow through it.

“The rest can be placed between the rows to help smother weeds and keep berries clean. It can also be put back on the plants for frost protection during blossoming.”

I took decent care of the strawberries last year in their first year. I kept them weeded, thinned the runners and plucked the blossoms on the June bearers. We did get some late strawberries from the day neutrals but I am expecting a good crop this spring.

I am considering selling them, locally grown and organic, for $6 a quart. If people don’t like that price, they can go buy the ersatz strawberries sold at Krogers for half that, but I prefer strawberries that have flavor and not those insipid look a likes.  If people don’t want them, I will dry and freeze my surplus and enjoy strawberries all next winter long.

Seems like I am counting my strawberries before they ripen. :-)

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