Saturday, January 13, 2018

What's surviving in the January edible garden

Garlic chives

Saturday, January 11, 2018

In our Zone 6/7 garden, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, sage, sorrel, rosemary, carrots, thyme, oregano, garlic, onions, leeks, parsley, spinach, and peas are all still green in our January garden.  The celery, peppers, eggplant, bay and citrus plants over wintering in the unheated garage are also still green. Our kumquat is loaded with green fruits.

To keep your cold hardy crops going as long as possible, be sure to apply a good layer of mulch in the fall.  How to extend the garden season

Austrian peas are a great winter crop to grow for salad greens.  They stay green all winter long.  I planted the seeds in the fall in pots.  The year before I planted them directly in the garden.  You can plant peas and onions as soon as next month, as soon as the soil can be worked. Time to plant peas!

Don't despair if your onion or carrot tops look a little worse for wear, the onion bulb and carrot under the ground are harvestable all winter.

Mulch is not only good for retaining moisture and keeping the soil cooler in the summer, but does the same in winter, keeping the soil warmer.  This lengthens the winter harvest and protects more tender crops so that they have a better chance of reviving in the spring to give an extra early spring harvest.  As your mulch breaks down, it adds organic matter to the soil.  Weed free, self fertilizing, till free garden beds

You can also use cloches, covers, and greenhouses to extend the harvest and get a jump on spring.   Biggest watch out when using cloches and green houses is to open when the sun is shining and temps get above freezing.  Temperatures can rise quickly inside the protection, killing the plant.  A row cover has more breathability, but that also means it will not keep the plants as warm.  See this blog for more on protecting plants  Extend the season with protection for plants 

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