Yesterday the goats and I worked on the garden gleaning the last remnants of good growing things. A few cabbage and carrots were all that remained..it's time to shift the fall garden list which is primarily growing and maintaining to the winter list.
The winter garden slows to a crawl as temperatures dip and rain finds its way into our soil. Ground covers spend time replenishing nutrients while preventing erosion with a lush carpet of green beauty. While the winter garden is a slower paced garden, it still takes plenty of time and planning before the next season comes.
My Winter Garden List
1. Compost. This is a year round task..winter is no exception. New compost sections are under way with gleanings from barn, coop, and field. Strip composts are done between cover crops with manure and shavings
2. Turn out. I take the time to turn out my herds and flocks during the winter. Their pastures are often rather bare and in need of rest so the garden offers a nice place to snack in the afternoon sunlight. Weeds are eaten down, manure is added, and chickens cultivate while removing unwanted pests and seeds.
3. Soil. Healthy soil means healthy plants so consider the needs of your soil..how did the plants do where they were last season. The Redeemed Gardener has a wonderful series going on soil. Click the link to view his post.
4. Greenhouse. Micro-greens, winter greens, and herbs all have a home in the winter greenhouse. Here they get just the warmth they need for some excellent home grown nutrients. Also, counter top growing..I have a jar of sprouts working on the kitchen counter..that's gardening, right?
5. Plan. Garden catalogs start to arrive stirring the planting juices. I take pen in hand to work a plan and create a list. Winter offers a slow pace for really considering plant needs and inter-planting/companion planting buddies.
So with visions of spring dancing in my head and regular trips to the greenhouse for a sprig of mint or a bowl of chard I plod through the wet cold to ponder and prepare. Spring will be here before you know it!