Brian , the last few winters I could plant lettuce in the covered raised bed in late Sept. early Oct and it wouldn't grow that big but in early spring it would start growing again ,,, not this year everything in the bed froze out so between starting lettuce inside and buying plants we're just stating to pick some . The old potatoes from last year got planted in mulch between the winter cover crop and look pretty good . I would like to cut that today .The tomatoes got planted right in the cut cover crop area in the upper garden and I'll use the cutting for the mulch around them.
Al, you have some very nice gardens, i get a sense of peace when i see it.
The mulch/shredded chips you have around is something i plan on doing with my uncle's garden only i plan on re-grinding it more fine so it will be easier to break down over the season now that i have a much bigger more heavy duty chipper/shredder so the thatch can be left to ''ferment'' for a while before being ground into compost with leaves, straw, garden trash, manure, lime and rich dirt.