Sunday, January 19, 2014

January's Garden

bouquet dill and danver carrots
   This weekend found us soaking up the sun as temperatures topped off in the seventies. Warm sunshine and a fresh breeze kept me outside enjoying it all (not to mention there is plenty to do). January finds us getting things going in the garden as cool weather crops have a rather short window down here. Tender things such as peas, carrots and dill won't last long when the Texas soil decides to warm.

fall cabbage, kohlrabi, and onion
   Since my garden goes year round, we are harvesting the same crops we are putting in. Today found carrots and bok choy in the basket while only rows away I planted another set. Peas are starting to sprout and Brussels sprout plants show their first little buds. The onions being harvested are mild and sweet, but the ones we plant today will have quite a bite in a few months. Tiny sprouts are everywhere: lettuce, kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, radish, mustard greens, beets and even a few turnips.

Goji berry test tree
     January is also time for fruit. Strawberries are in bloom while fig trees offer a tiny hint of leaf buds. Dew and blackberry plants are leafing out with new shoots popping up everywhere. Today we take stock of our fruit production and start planning and planting; a new goji berry went in today. With a fruit tree sale next weekend there will be new canes and trees going in soon.
multiplier onions and bronze bok choy
    Another important part of January's garden is soil maintenance. We are working in new compost, cutting cover crops/green manures, and layering on the paper and leaves; permaculture takes upkeep. Our clover, mustards, and rye are cut and left to 'cure' in place. Once dry, compost, paper or cardboard, and leaves are added. When ready to put in transplants or seeds I simply move the mulch over and set them in. Not only does this feed the soil, but it offers moisture support and weed control.
strawberry in bloom
   I've had a busy and very productive garden weekend filled with green, growing things and plenty of hearty exercise in the warm sunshine. Hopefully this will feed my soul as a cold front returns to my area in the next few days. Until then, the rest of January's garden chores will be inventorying seeds, sketching ideas, and buying some new trees!


Heidi Gonzales said...

I envy your garden this year Michele. It's looking pretty awesome for January. That bok choy is so pretty and edible too. I hope you get a few more good rows of cool weather crops eaten before it heats up.

Mrs. Farmer said...

Sprouts in January? So jealous. My garden is under several inches of snow, and I can't plant until April!!!