Thursday, November 14, 2013
How to Grow a Winter Garden: Harvest and Update
I showed you our Fall and Winter Garden, but haven't given an update in awhile, so I thought I'd share with you!
The Garlic beds (small top picture) are doing great. Both the Spanish and Italian varieties are up and that makes me happy. I've never grown garlic before and I was jealous of others who were pulling theirs up in late July and August. Hopefully I get some good cloves! Also, if you haven't planted yours yet, get it in quick! You can even try some from the grocery store if you can't make it to a nursery for a certified bulb or two. Or three.
Our little patch of 7-8 Snow Peas in the strawberry bed (middle right picture) have been attacked again and again by the slugs. It's way too good of a hiding place for them. The slugs don't seem to want the pods, but they are eating the plants so much that I know it's hindering their growth. However, I'd never grown snow peas before, and it has been nice to grow them, so we enjoy a little harvest every few days. They continue to grow, despite the weather becoming much colder.
The space where we built the new Cement Block Bed (bottom right picture) has turned out great. The garlic is beginning to come up in the holes of the blocks which is awesome. Hopefully it keeps some nasty slugs and critters out. This bed has radishes mixed in with carrots on the left, and bok choy on the right. Everything's doing well! The radishes are beginning to bulb a bit, so hopefully they'll be ready to eat soon. Also, the carrots have begun popping up everywhere. I'm sure they'll do well, so long as the slugs don't eat the leaves before they get a chance to grow.
The East Bed (bottom middle picture) is the most fun. We have a straw-covered block of garlic that is doing well, a block that is solely radishes, radishes with spinach, and radishes with carrots. Yes, I'm growing lots of radishes! HOWEVER, for a plant that is supposed to be so easy to grow, I'm having a difficult time, so I planted them everywhere. I finally harvested one today! It was so exciting! I'm hoping to do roasted radishes at our Thanksgiving dinner table. We'll see! It would also be nice to throw some spinach in our salad, but I'm not certain that will happen.
The Greenhouse (bottom left picture) is such a joy. I have a feeling that next winter, I'll bulk up growing in there. It's just a plastic covered greenhouse, but it holds the warmth quite well. I have several lettuce, kale, purple-headed broccoli, basil and leek seedlings growing, some flowers that are overwintering there, strawberries that were runners that happened to land in the herb pots and I'm letting stay, and our trashcan for potato growing. I couldn't believe how many we got for our end-of-summer harvest. I know they might not produce potatoes, but I read some success stories of starting them early, and the summer potatoes were far superior, so I had to try again. So far, they are growing well in the greenhouse. I continue to cover the growth with more soil and I'll do that until I come within an inch of the top. Then we'll see what happens!
Everything grows slower than in the spring and summer. You can tell it's quiet out there, you know? This part of the earth is very drowsy right now, and I know I'm fighting that, but it's been nice to eat something from the garden occasionally. It's also been great to experiment and keep learning about my garden. It's definitely worth it, even if I just get garlic and some more snow peas.
Are you growing a fall or winter garden? Have you harvested anything yet? What are you growing?