Sunday, January 23, 2011

What’s growing in January?

What’s growing in January? It has been unusually cold this winter and I was surprised to see I still had a few vegetables and herbs in my garden. As you can see by the photo I still have some red leaf and Oakleaf lettuce, Lemon Balm (far left), garlic chives and rosemary in my small kitchen garden. This garden is in a very protected spot. Parsley and spinach are still growing in my raised bed but the lettuce did not survive. I really think I’ll try a cold frame for next fall/winter. I like having lettuce just a few steps away when I need it instead of driving to the store for fresh lettuce. What is a cold frame? It is a protected plant bed that has no artificial heat added. A cold frame has a transparent roofed enclosure, is built low to the ground, and used to protect plants from cold weather. It can extend the growing season weeks or months. I also found this anole sunbathing, not sure if he was growing but soaking up some heat at least!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January the quietest month in the garden

"January is the quietest month in the garden. ... But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients
for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
- Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January in the Garden

I like to take a slow walk in the garden in January to evaluate the structure of the garden and decide what might need to be added or removed to improve the site and plan improvements for the New Year.

Some of my January and winter chores are:

Pruning leafless trees and shrubs
Adding to the compost pile
Weeding and mowing where needed
Placing cold sensitive potted plants in protected areas outdoors or indoors.
Sharpening and cleaning garden tools
Protect tender plants from frosts. .
The soil is usually too wet and cold for much garden digging but I can spend time Weeding the winter garden..
Indoor activities includes: sorting seeds, planning, reading, writing, browsing seed and garden catalogs, reading gardening, books and magazines.