Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Garden on January 6, 2010 - Part I

It's time for another survey of the vegetable garden.

We've been enjoying some wonderful spring-like weather the last few days. The daytime temps have been around 70F, but partly cloudy.  It almost makes me feel guilty to say that, knowing what unusually frigid weather much of the rest of the country is enduring. Have hope, spring will come!

So here we go...

The experimental potato patch is doing better than expected. Some of the very first shoots got a bit frost nipped but they have recovered nicely.

The carrot patch is next to the potatoes. It's a pretty scraggly bunch this winter. Lots of stubby carrots, perhaps because of the mole that's been tunneling around in the area.

And the celery root patch is next.

I finally harvested one good sized celery root last week. A look at the tag indicates that I sowed the seeds last February! There's one more nice sized one ready to harvest.

And the giant scallions are getting bigger...

The Golden Chard seemed to appreciate the water bottle cloches that I covered them with. A couple plants are almost large enough to start harvesting a few leaves. I'm not sure if these will bolt this spring or not.

The Red Fennel is sending up new shoots from the bases of the plants. I harvested a lot of seeds from these plants and finally cut the stalks down just a few weeks ago when I noticed the new shoots.

The shoots are supposed to form "bulbs" that are good to eat.

Now that the amaranth is gone and the cutting celery is getting more light it's growing very nicely.

And, in another corner of this bed, the parsley is starting to bolt. There's still plenty of good leaves to harvest.

In the next bed, the peppers have seen better days, but not all of them are completely lost.

I'm hoping that the Pimento de Padron pepper plants will survive the winter. Some of the plants got zapped by the December frosts and freezes, but still have plenty of life lower in the plants.

The Padron plants on the back side of the bed are in much better shape.

And even have some blossoms.

And even a few peppers! It sure would be nice to get a head start on the Pimento de Padron harvest this year.

The beet patch is looking patchy. I managed to get some more Burpee's Goldens to germinate and have been rounding up the cloches to try to give them some TLC.

The Olive Leaf Rapini is coming along nicely. It needs a bit more thinning. Last year I had to protect the plants from munching birds, but am not having those difficulties yet this year.

Behind the rapini, under the bird protection flats, there are newly emerging seedlings of Monticello Poppies (thanks Christina!).

Golden Corn Salad seedlings are volunteering in this area.

I've been digging them up, separating them, and replanting them with more space between the plants. They don't seem to mind the disturbance!

That's it for the first two beds. I'll cover the other two beds in the next post.


  1. Wow, your root celery is huge, at least compared to the ones I grew this year and the red fennel sounds interesting I will have to look it up. I'm curious, what is your normal date for planting potatoes? It looks like your experimental ones are off to a great start.

  2. Hi Mr. H, The celery root has had 10 months to get to that size! Potatoes are actually a new crop for me. My favorite local gardening book says that they can be planted anywhere from mid-January through August, but some local growers grow them year round with protection from the frost. I had the potatoes and the garden space at the end of October so I planted them. The Red Fennel is also new for me, we'll see if it actually does make bulbs...

  3. Lucky you to enjoy such a great growing climate and particularly your recent nice weather! It does the heart good to see emerging new plants - keeps hope stirred for the return of spring in our own gardens.

  4. It all looks wonderful, especially for January! We're picking cauliflowers, chard, leeks and lettuce, but none of our pepper plants survived the frosts last month and we had another frost last night. I think your climate must be slightly warmer than ours. But spring is coming everywhere - thanks for encouraging us all with photos of your productive garden.

  5. Peppers in January. Amazing. I might have to move to California.

    I wish I knew the secret to carrots. I'd sure like to grow some that are bigger than a dime. Sigh. I guess I'm doomed to try again.

  6. I hope your peppers survive the winter. That would be just wonderful if they did. It is nice to know the golden corn salad doesn't mind transplanting. I've got mine coming up in close patches so this spring I'll move them around.

  7. kitsapFG, I didn't fully appreciate my lovely gardening climate until I started reading garden blogs from cold places. But that won't stop me from grumping about all the weeds that take over the garden at this time of year!

  8. chaiselongue, Your peppers may be gone, but it sounds like you are still enjoying some nice harvests! It does seem like spring here at the moment, but that could change overnight, there's still a very good chance for more frost or freezing weather. Gardening on a hillside has it's advantages in the winter, 500 feet lower on the valley floor they get more and harder frosts and freezes, the peppers would be dead by now down there.

  9. Susan, Well, I'm not excactly harvesting big fat lovely juicy sweet peppers right now....

    Carrots, hmm, I got lucky a couple of times and now I'm pulling up stubby little things. Just when you think you've got things figured out the garden teaches you to be a bit more humble. I'll try again also!

  10. Daphne, So far so good with the peppers, but winter is not done with the garden yet. I hope your corn salad seedlings make it through the winter. We gardeners, we're always trying to defy the elements!

  11. Looks great, and inspires me to get out there and take some pictures.

  12. Stefaneener, The pictures may not be all that beautiful, but I do find it interesting and useful to be able to look back at the garden at different times of the year. It works much better than my memory these days!

  13. Fantastic that you still have peppers coming, in fact I'm totally amazed by all that you are still producing... can we climate swap?

  14. Jan, I'm not so sure I would do well with the cold and the snow either!

  15. I hear you about our fantastic weather recently! We've been walking on the beach lately - no need for a jacket. I can't believe you still have peppers on your plants! I'm determined to have some better luck with them this year.


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