Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 12/16/13

It may be the middle of December, but I got quite a bit of work done in the garden this week. I augmented several more beds with cow manure compost and have about five more beds to do. (I ran out of manure!) I sowed red clover seed into the beds that won’t get planted until spring; the other beds are getting a blanket of leaves from my back yard as they’ll be planted next month with my winter crops. We received over an inch of much-needed rain this past weekend on the back end of warmer temperatures. The thermometer is dipping again this week, however. Winter will be here officially in a few days, but there are still things growing in my garden.

HARVESTS:

Yes, I am still harvesting some things in my garden in December. I pulled the rest of my radishes and the few heads of lettuce that I grew this fall.

Radish harvest ~ December 11

Radish harvest ~ December 11

Lettuce harvest ~ December 11

Lettuce harvest ~ December 11

GROWING:

Despite the several frosts we’ve had in the past few weeks, my parsley, oregano, cilantro, and dill are still growing. In fact, my dill self-seeded and I have a new plant now.

Dill self-seeded and grew

Dill self-seeded and grew

I planted my watercress rather late, but it’s growing.

Watercress

Watercress

I hate to admit it, but I pretty much forgot about my arugula. I will be harvesting it all this week and plan to saute it in garlic and olive oil!

Arugula

Arugula

WINTERIZED BEDS:

Here’s one of my beds blanketed in leaves.

Soil with manure compost under a blanket of leaves

Soil with manure compost under a blanket of leaves

In just five days, the beds I sowed last week with red clover seed (for a cover crop) had seedlings.

Red clover seedlings

Red clover seedlings

GARDEN SURPRISES:

With the warm weather we had last week, I got quite the surprise in my asparagus bed. Last Wednesday, I saw my green asparagus had sent up several spears after I had cut it back end of November. Well, I cut it back again and told it in no uncertain terms, “It’s winter. Now go to sleep!”

Asparagus regrowing

Asparagus regrowing

Four days later (yesterday), I noticed that my recently-planted purple asparagus was starting to grow! NO! Too soon! I didn’t cut those spears as the crowns were just planted. Hope all will be well with these.

Purple asparagus growing too soon

Purple asparagus growing too soon

When I was harvesting my lettuce, I noticed this one head of romaine had bolted. Look at the small flowers starting to grow!

Red romaine lettuce flowers

Red romaine lettuce flowers

This week’s garden chores are to finish augmenting the soil in the rest of my raised beds, finalize my garden plans, and order my seed. Winter planting begins on New Year’s Day! Woohoo!

What are you doing for your garden this week?

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