Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Garden in Late January 2019

So it's another cold and wet and dreary day which means I'm not going to get any work done in the garden so it's time to do a bit of catch-up with the blog. I took photos of the garden back in January so that I could document the garden then but never got around to writing up the post. I figure I should write it up before I need to post about the February garden.

A lot of the garden was a total mess in January. Between being sick over the holidays and then getting lots of rain I didn't get out there much. 

So let's start with Bed No. 1. This corner of the bed was sitting empty for a while while I figured out what to do with it. Since taking these photos I did get it planted but that's for the next tour.

Down at the other end of the bed there were still some lingering pepper plants from 2017 (not a typo). Behind the old peppers are some well protected fragrant sweet peas (they better be fragrant).

A nice patch of I'itoi onions.

Old and new Speedy arugula.

The last of the lettuce.

Three Heart Butterhead and Queen of Crunch Crisphead

Yellow Potato Onions

Spinach and cilantro from a fall planting, all just on the verge of bolting.

The Mini Purple and Bora King daikon radishes are holding extremely well in the garden. I harvest them as I want them.

Fall sown Short Stuff carrots are looking good but still not large enough to start harvesting.

Oh, there's that empty corner again. It was really crying out for some veggies.

Over in Bed No. 2 there's Brussels sprouts and Kalettes occupying the end of the bed.

Bleah. The top of one of the Brussels sprouts plants was going bad but since I opened it up it has started to recover.

The sprouts though are finally looking good.

Gustus Brussels Sprouts

The slowest of the Kalettes to develop has still not produced sprouts large enough to harvest, but they are growing sloooowly. This year I'm going to start these in June instead of July and see if that will help to get earlier harvests.

Snowdrop Kalettes

The tops of the parsnips are dying back but the roots are holding well although they have stopped growing.

Gladiator Parsnips

Prinz Celeriac
The celeriac continues to grow but not too quickly, it's holding quite well in the garden also. It's really nice to have veggies that keep well in the garden so that I don't have to stuff the fridge and use things up as quickly as possible.

Prinz Celeriac
The summer sown Short Stuff carrots are looking tatty, they have pretty much stopped growing but the carrots are keeping well in the ground so I'm still just harvesting as I want them.

The summer sown beets never did grow well. I cleared out the Sweetheart beets and just started clearing out the Badger Flame beets this week to make way for some spring veggies.

Badger Flame Beets
 The rutabagas are happy, I've been harvesting those as I want them.

Improved Helenor Rutabagas
This is the third or fourth growth of Orion Fennel, this patch has slowed down but there's more elsewhere!

Orion Fennel
The summer sown chard never did well but I did finally get a small harvest recently.

Peppermint Stick and Italian Silver Rib Chard

Pink Plume celery. What star performers this bunch has been. I've started to tie them up because the bunches are wanting to splay out. Tying them up seems to help to promote longer stalks.

What a sorry sight these broccoli plants are. I just haven't had the time or the heart to yank them out. They were early victims of the munching rodents but after I protected them they managed to give me a few harvests of shoots through the year.

Bed No. 3. What a mess. There's a pile of stuff waiting to get shredded for the compost bin and a big bunch of frost zapped Nema-Gone marigolds that need to be cleared out. One bright spot is that bunch of greenery on the left.

That's the Orion fennel that I planted there in 2017. In 2018 I allowed it to bloom like crazy which provided me with a lot of fennel seeds to cook with and it also provided the good bugs with a lot of flowers to feed on. After I cut the flower stalks down it decided to produce a bunch of fat bulbs in the past few weeks. Amazing

Orion Fennel From 2017
The artichoke plant that I transferred from a pot into the bed is expanding and enjoying having a lot more room to spread its roots.

Unfortunately the aphids and ants have moved in. Treating that mess is another task that I've not gotten around to doing.

Next to the artichoke is a patch of Blue Boy Cornflowers. Those turned out to be frost hardy and are now just starting to show signs of sending up flower stalks so I should have some spring flowers.

The fall planted Cosmos never did take off which was surely my fault for not getting them transplanted early enough, but then the birds decided they were a delicious snack, and then frost finished them off. My consolation prize for doing nothing more in that spot is a bunch of volunteer Golden Corn Salad.

Bed No. 4 was the site of Fort Pepper in 2018 and by January it was just a big mess of overgrown, dead, and dying peppers.

My usual rotation is to follow peppers and tomatoes with favas and peas early in the year. I almost decided to not grow favas this year because  last year the fava crop was destroyed by rodents but I really want some fresh favas again so this year I'm constructing Fort Fava.

The remains of the 2018 peppers, some ready to be shredded for the compost and others that I may give a chance to grow on through 2019. There's still peppers on the Joe's Giant Aji Amarillo plant. I haven't decided if I'm going to bother to harvest them, I really don't need them.

The rest of the bed is ready for planting peas, more on that in the next tour.

This end of the bed was devoted to flowers in 2019 (after I ripped out the rodent ravaged tomato plants). This year I'm going to cage in another round of garbanzos.

And finally, some of the I'itoi onions that I have growing in fabric pots have been enjoying the rainy weather and have some good top growth. I've been trimming out the greens to cook with since I know that the overly crowded plants don't have much of a chance of producing sizable bulbs and I have a bunch in the garden that should produce good bulbs. That silver box behind the onions is a mouse trap. I accidentally discovered that that area behind the pots is a mouse highway and I've caught numerous mice that have tried to pass through.

So that's my belated tour of the January garden. I hope we get enough of a break in the weather so that I can get back out to the garden and finish up cleaning and planting spring veggies. I read that there's a very good chance that another atmospheric river may be in store for California in the next week which doesn't bode well for my efforts in the garden. I am truly grateful that we are getting rain this year but you can get too much of a good thing.


  1. I love your garden tours. So nice to see something growing. Here in Wales it's wet and cold and all I have is PSB which is yet to sprout! I can't wait for spring.

  2. Your sweet pea comment (they better be fragrant!) had me laughing - after the effort that goes into some things in the garden, it's such a bummer when they don't meet our expectations. I'm very envious of your "just bolting" cilantro and spinach - what a great run they've had! One of the biggest issues with our weather in the past few years is the lack of a proper spring and fall - we seem to go from one extreme to the other with only a week or two of moderate weather, and our cool weather crops have suffered.

    And that! It truly is the veg that just keeps on giving!

  3. To me you have an incredible amount of things still growing. Our plot is on the whole rather bare.


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