Monday, December 17, 2012

In the Winter Garden

   Our way down south weather has been anything but winter-like. Days peaking in the 70's and 80's break records every day; night time temps are no less surprising. With all this warmth, the winter garden has been challenging and surprising.
    Warm soil has kept our cold weather crops rather leafy yet unyielding; broccoli is buttoning and cabbage plants have yet to form a head. Leafy greens have quite a bite in their taste and have been riddled with pests. Problems like this in the winter garden leave me quite concerned about spring planting.
    Of course, I am unfettered. Regular weeding, watering and pest stomping still happens with the hope of saving some small harvest from the strangely warm season. The greenhouse sits vents wide open housing some citrus trees and a few tender herbs..which would have been fine had they remained in their beds. No tender greens planted there so far..way to warm for that.
   Crazy enough, the two main things still thriving and producing in my winter garden- onions and peppers. No pests, no frost lots of harvest here; one more sign the soil has not seen winter temps. Who would have thought December would find me testing more preserving recipes for habaneros and Tabasco peppers?
   Here we sit with the fans on high and a tall glass of iced tea chatting about hot pepper recipes only days before celebrating Christmas..who knew the winter garden would be producing summer crops? So as I swat another mosquito and read one more garden article about pest control, I will also..ironically, wrap gifts in snow flake printed paper to place under my tree.
   Actually..I am nixing the printed paper this year for something a little less frustrating, but that's a share for another day.

  

3 comments:

Michelle said...

We are finally having cold weather. I am giving my winter garden a rest this year.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Hi Michelle..I rest my garden in plots..so winter garden sets are really small areas. Empty plots are being rested and covered with barn gleanings in preparation for next season.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Hi Michelle..I rest my garden in plots..so winter garden sets are really small areas. Empty plots are being rested and covered with barn gleanings in preparation for next season.