Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 1/13/14

It’s winter planting season, and the weather has changed like a roller coaster this week in the Charleston, SC area. From a low of 17 during the Polar Vortex (which dipped this far south) to a high of 73 only three days later! Walking through my garden this weekend, I felt like Goldilocks.

THESE PLANTS ARE JUST TOO COLD:

During the Polar Vortex, some of my plants were frostbitten but look like they will survive. Others weren’t so fortunate. The 36 hours of below-freezing temperatures killed some of my plants. These plants are just too cold!

Artichoke after Polar Vortex hit

Artichoke after Polar Vortex hit

Watercress after Polar Vortex hit

Watercress after Polar Vortex hit

Oregano after Polar Vortex hit

Oregano after Polar Vortex hit

Cilantro after Polar Vortex hit

Cilantro after Polar Vortex hit

THESE PLANTS ARE JUST TOO WARM:

The end of December, I planted five dozen tulip bulbs in front of my house. They are “late blooming” tulips that are supposed to bloom in April-May. Because I live in the South, I figured they’d bloom a little early, maybe March-April. I did NOT expect them to start pushing through the soil in January, three weeks after I planted them! But that’s what they’re doing. The frightfully cold weather followed by 70 degree temperatures must’ve made the bulbs think winter had come, left, and spring had arrived. We have more frost coming, so I’m not sure what’s in store for my tulips. These plants are just too warm!

Tulips coming up 2-3 months early!

Tulips coming up 2-3 months early!

THESE PLANTS ARE JUST RIGHT:

Several of my plants survived the Polar Vortex just fine, and are doing well with the vast temperature changes. They’re growing the way they’re supposed to during this time of year. These plants are just right.

Curly parsley survived the Polar Vortex

Curly parsley survived the Polar Vortex

Flat parsley survived the Polar Vortex

Flat parsley survived the Polar Vortex

Dill survived the Polar Vortex

Dill survived the Polar Vortex

Rosemary survived the Polar Vortex

Rosemary survived the Polar Vortex

Garlic survived the Polar Vortex

Garlic survived the Polar Vortex

DOINGS IN THE GARDEN:

On Friday, I removed my dead-leaves mulch and applied the Azomite rock dust I bought to the six beds I was planting. I used 2 lb per 10 square feet, sprinkled it on top of the bed, then worked it into the top 2-3 inches of soil with my hands. Yes, it was like kneading over 200 square feet of dough, but I was able to work it in well and it felt good to get my hands in the soil.

Azomite rock dust applied to raised bed

Azomite rock dust applied to raised bed

It rained on Saturday, and I had perfect weather on Sunday to plant all my winter crops (except my potatoes and onion sets) ~ carrots, kale, turnips, spinach, lettuce, escarole, arugula, radishes, and beets. (See my post Dreaming of My 2014 Garden for specifics on the varieties with links to where to purchase.) It was wonderful to be planting again!

Planting time 12Jan14 SG

Winter planting time!

I had a beautiful visitor at my bird feeder this week. Look at this female cardinal. What a reminder that spring is not too far away.

Female cardinal on my bird feeder

Female cardinal on my bird feeder

How did you fare during the Polar Vortex?

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