Thursday, December 15, 2011

This week in the garden: Dec. 22, 2011

Happy winter solstice!  If you are a gardener, this probably isn't a day you look forward to.  The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.
Garden on winter solstice
I used to think of the winter as a time of no plants, and certainly no vegetables.  But my foray into gardening is starting to change my mind, and I'm beginning to realize the potentials of gardening in winter. For a truly dedicated gardener, there doesn't have to be much of an 'off' season.

This year was my first fall vegetable garden.  And my experience with it is making me realize that I could over winter many vegetables--kale, collards, tatsoi, lettuce, leeks, and spinach to name a few.  This year my fall vegetable garden was relatively small, but because of its success, next year I will plant MUCH more.
Mixed lettuce
I'm particularly loving fresh salads from the garden.  I think I could overwinter lettuce (especially under a row cover).
The tatsoi and kale should over winter without any cover at all.  I plan on growing a LOT of tatsoi next fall, to last me through winter.  I like it raw in salads, wilted in stir fries, or sauteed like collards or kale.  It is wonderful--easy to grow, tasty, and loves cold weather.
Georgia Green Collard
If you're gardening this winter, are you making notes in your garden journal?  Mine are: Grow more of EVERYTHING in the fall!  The exception perhaps is spinach, which has been a little on the pathetic side.

Now I'm looking forward to next spring AND fall!

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