Sunday, December 30, 2018

What's happening in the New Year's edible garden

Frosty late December morning in the garden
Sunday, December 30, 2018

At the very end of December, many would think there is nothing going in the garden without protection.  Surprisingly, there are many herbs and some greens holding their own this time of year.  You can garden year round in small space

Mustard, celery, sorrel, parsley, kale and chard are still alive.  All can be used in salads.  Mustard and chard can be steamed or sautéed.  Sorrel soup is a favorite.  The prettiest chard with the dark red stems are the least hardy, but mine are still hanging in there.  The chard with the white stems are looking the best.
Salad burnet
Salad burnet still looks great right now.  It shows no signs of stress from the cold weather.  The taste is fresh and reminiscent of cucumber.  It brightens a ho-hum salad.  Homegrown, organic salads in a Midwest winter
Many herbs are holding on as well-thyme, oregano, sage, lavender, rosemary.  I have started chervil in the garage.  I has sprouted.  It does great inside.  My bay plants are doing quite well in the garage where I overwinter them each year.  You can have fresh herbs for cooking right through New Year’s.  Growing herbs indoors for winter

I also bring my citrus plants into the garage.  The kumquat is covered in almost ripe fruits.  The goji or Wolfberry survives in the garage, but does not flower or fruit during the winter.  Fruit for small spaces

Herbs were my first step into edible gardening.  They are so easy to grow, require no special attention, and many herbs are perennials so you plant once and are done.  All that is left is enjoying the great food you can create with your own super fresh herbs.  Start a kitchen herb garden!

I still have lettuce growing the garden without cover.  You can keep lettuce going all winter in a portable greenhouse.November was below average in temps and December has been about average.  Late December sees highs in the 40's and lows in the 20's.  January is typically the coldest where only the hardiest survive without cover.    Extend the season with protection for plants

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