Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 12/2/13

It’s hard to believe it’s already December, the last month of the year! My 2013 garden log is almost complete, the seed catalogs are soon to arrive, and it’s time to start planning my seed germinating and my winter and spring gardens. There’s not much rest for southern gardeners as we can grow something almost year round. December and January are the slow months, then things kick back up again! Although this is my slowest season in the garden, I do have some pictures to share with you.

This past week, we had several nights in a row of below freezing temperatures. One morning, while the frost was still on the grass, I took this picture of my oregano sprayed with frost.

Frost on oregano

Frost on oregano

Despite the frosts, I did harvest some radishes and carrots that I sliced for a veggie tray at my Hanukkah party.

Radish & Carrot harvest ~ November 30

Radish & Carrot harvest ~ November 30

I picked an odd key lime this week. It looks like a perfect stripe didn’t ripen like the rest of the lime. Funny, isn’t it?

Key lime

Key lime

My fall crops are growing, but not as well as they could be. I think the odd weather we had – going from too hot to below freezing in such a short time – made it difficult for the seeds to germinate in time to grow large enough before the cold weather set in. Also, I used all my available compost to fill five new beds this summer and wasn’t able to make/use compost tea on my beds as I usually do. I did use organic fertilizer, but weekly compost tea obviously makes a big difference.

Spinach ~ 30 days post planting

Spinach ~ 5 weeks post planting

Buttercrunch lettuce ~ 6 weeks post planting

Buttercrunch lettuce ~ 6 weeks post planting

Scarlet nantes carrots ~ 6 weeks post planting

Scarlet nantes carrots ~ 6 weeks post planting

My red sails lettuce and escarole are doing a little better.

Red sails lettuce ~ 6 weeks post planting

Red sails lettuce ~ 6 weeks post planting

Escarole ~ 6 weeks post planting

Escarole ~ 6 weeks post planting

My garlic is growing quite well (and needing its first feeding).

Italian softneck garlic ~ 5 weeks post planting

Italian softneck garlic ~ 5 weeks post planting

Most of my radishes are ready to pull. (The watermelon radishes in the back are not bulbing as they should. I don’t think the back of that bed is getting enough sunlight this time of year.)

Radish bed

Radish bed

Yesterday, I noticed that one of my arugula has bolted. (Guess I ought to be harvesting it more often, eh?)

Arugula bolting

Arugula bolting

My red clover, which I planted as a cover crop in the two beds that had grown my tomatoes, is doing well. However, one bed has more clover (even after reseeding) and is taller. I think the bed with the thicker clover gets more sun every day.

Look at this bed….

Red clover cover crop in the sunnier bed

Red clover cover crop in the sunnier bed

Compared to this bed…

Red clover cover crop in not-as-sunny bed

Red clover cover crop in not-as-sunny bed

Big difference! Well, some clover is better than none.

Because this was Thanksgiving week, I didn’t get a chance to do as much in the garden as needed to be done. But this coming Friday is a major garden workday.

Did you get any gardening or homesteading chores done this holiday weekend?

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