Finally finished pulling all of the carrots from the Ziva-ruined beds. Putting black plastic over the carrots frozen into the beds worked really well. Most came up with no problems and the few that were frozen deep came up with a garden fork.
My last bunch of carrots. Most are finger-sized but there were a few good sizes in the bunch. They have all been processed for the freezer.
The garden had a good run. I can now say, with certainty, that:
My growing season is shorter than I thought, even with reading all the info on our climate.
Leaf lettuce, carrots and spinach are outstanding choices for my area.
Tomatoes do well outside if started early and mulched with plastic.
Tomatoes will be even greater for the greenhouse.
Garlic will have to be worked on. Seemed to grow well, but didn't produce heads.
Herbs were mostly a bust. Only rosemary and cilantro seemed to like it up here.
Strawberries must be greenhouse grown. The bushes looked great; they never fruited.
Peppers will also need to be greenhouse grown. Not hot enough, long enough.
Covered hoops extended the growing season very well.
Ziva and hoops don't mix well.
A fence will need to be added around the garden.
Finishing grinding up the carrot peelings and leftovers for the garden. After adding it to the compost pile, I will now watch it to see how long it takes in the spring to actually use the frozen mess. We've been having 60 degree days, but it hasn't thawed.
I think I'll be trying the layer strategy for the spring. I'm going to fill in the sunken areas of the beds; cover them with a layer of newspaper; cover that with compost; let it sit through the rest of the winter. I'll have to buy bags of the compost, as my pile is growing at a dismal rate. Later, we'll see how it goes. This tactic supposedly keeps weeds down and builds up the top layer of the garden.
We'll see if not turning the beds is a good thing.