Preparations for winter continue at the farm. This week, night time temperatures have started to plummet into the 20s, with some strong winds during the day.
To stay organized during seasonal transitions, we follow a schedule of tasks from one year to the next. Among these chores, it’s important to replace all the screen windows and doors with storm glass, ensure all the hoop houses are properly insulated, and cover valuable shrubs, hedges and garden ornaments with burlap. Winter officially begins December 21st, so the entire outdoor grounds crew is quite busy.
Here are some of our photos… is your home ready for winter?
Storm doors have a lot of benefits – they provide added insulation and more protection to the exterior door. They also offer more security for the home. Swapping door inserts when seasons change is easy to do and doesn’t take up a lot of time.
Most storm doors are made of wood (like mine), fiberglass or aluminum, and have interchangeable glass and screen panels. Some doors use screws and brackets to hold inserts in place, while others use spring loaded clips.
Each of my storm doors has about six brackets to hold the inserts in place. They are controlled by brass screws. Some of my larger storm windows have eight brackets.
A regular screwdriver is used to turn the screw clockwise or counterclockwise to release or retract the bracket into the wooden frame of the insert. When changing storm door inserts, be sure to label them well, so there is no confusion when it comes time to changing them again. And store your inserts in a cool dry place during the off season.
There are still a lot of leaves surrounding the houses. Each day, more leaves are blown and delivered to the compost pile.
Wilmer cleans the garden beds one more time – raking leaves, cutting and removing dead foliage, and then fertilizing with an organic formula.
Bales of hay are lined up around every hoop house to provide a little insulation especially where drafts are possible.
This is the hoop house across from the chicken coops – it holds many precious plants during winter. It’s vital to keep the temperatures controlled during the colder months.
I have many container seedlings, which are waiting to be planted. In the meantime, to keep them protected, I wanted to also cover them with a layer of hay.
Here, Wilmer spreads the hay over all the potted trees.
These seedlings are located in front of my main greenhouse, so they can be monitored closely. Eventually, they will all be transplanted into the woodland.
More urns are covered with burlap – this is one of two giant burlap-covered urns at the entrance to the cutting garden.
By my Winter House, Chhewang is putting up the frames for more burlap covers.
These frames are about eight feet tall and span lengthwise in between the shrubs.
Chhiring unravels a long burlap cover. Each roll is 300-feet long. Many of these covers require several burlap pieces to be sewn together, so they fit over the hedges and shrubs. It is a lot of fabric, but worth every bit to protect these specimens.
Here is Phurba securing a diagonal support stake for the wooden frames.
One side of burlap is pulled over the frame. These frames are very strong and hold the burlap secure all season long.
Chhiring sews one side together, making small knots first, so the fabric is secure as he sews.
The fabric is pulled snug at the ends and sewn.
Another one down, and still many more to go, but it is all coming along nicely.