I took advantage of the clouds yesterday afternoon and grabbed my camera to take some garden photos. Cloudy conditions usually make for better outside shots, even though I am usually happier to see sunshine. We’ve had a mild winter so far, and that has left things growing a bit better than normal – whatever normal is these days! Most of the garden action this time of year is going on in and around the greenhouse.
The greenhouse beds and benches are full of growing things. Just walking in there is a bit of a challenge, but I try and take advantage of every bit of growing space. I’ve got some onions growing in containers that I have been harvesting as needed as scallions. These were planted from sets and plants I got last fall (more on that later).
I also have salad boxes planted with various greens. The mini salad box in the photo below was planted with a Misticanza mix from Seeds of Italy. It should be ready for harvesting soon.
Several of our potted rosemary plants are spending the winter on the greenhouse bench. One is covered in blooms at the moment – talk about an overachiever! That’s some Simpson Elite lettuce growing behind it in a container.
Another of the mini salad boxes is planted with arugula. With arugula planted inside the greenhouse and outside in one of the cold frames, we are unlikely to run out of one of our favorite greens any time soon.
The two greenhouse beds are planted with a variety of hardy vegetables and herbs. Lettuce, spinach, pak choi, mizuna, maruba santoh, chard, parlsey and onions are currently growing there.
Outside the greenhouse, the cold frames are covering an assortment of plants as well. The first cold frame is planted entirely in spinach, and has been keeping us supplied for a couple of months now. The varieties planted are Space, Giant Winter and Viroflay.
The second cold frame is planted in lettuce. All the varieties are doing great so far, as are the weeds. Of course chickweed is edible, as long as it doesn’t choke out everything else. But that’s not the only ‘weed’ in there. Looks like some weeding is in order!
The third cold frame is a mix of Asian greens and arugula. The komatsuna on the right has gotten so big it gets some of the leaves smashed by the cold frame lid. I’ll have to rethink my planting strategy next year, though it hasn’t really hurt the plants that much. I’ve harvested some of the pak choi already, cutting it near the soil line so it will sprout again. The dark green leaves in the middle are Yukina Savoy.
The fourth cold frame is planted with mostly lettuce and a little tatsoi. It was planted later than the others, so it’s not quite as far along. Still, it has made good growth for this time of year. If all the lettuce in the cold frames survives the winter, we will be eating a lot of salads!
The last cold frame is planted with senposai, which is a komatsuna/cabbage cross. This is my first time overwintering it, so it will be interesting to see how it performs. So far, it’s doing great.
This year I am conducting an experiment with growing onions. I planted Walla Walla slips back in mid October, then I covered the bed with a low tunnel arrangement using Agribon material. Hopefully by giving the onions some protection I will improve my chances of success in overwintering them.
As of early January, the onions seem to be doing nicely under cover. I also planted some red and white onion sets in another bed in early November, and covered them with straw. My hope is that these plantings will give us onions earlier than usual this spring and summer. I also planted some of the sets and slips in containers for use as scallions.
That’s a look at how the gardens are growing here in January. Winter gardening results are always unpredictable here, but this season is looking like it will be a good one so far. I hope you have enjoyed the tour!