Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 1/5/15

Happy new year, everyone! Welcome to my first update of 2015. It’s a new year, a new opportunity to expand our horizons, and a new chance to grow more and harvest more. This past week, I looked at seed catalogs, weeded, harvested, and planted peas and spinach and lettuce. The weather has been rather warm, but a cold winter blast is on its way. Next Wednesday night will go down to 20 degrees. Big difference from yesterday’s high of 74. Ah, the joys of living on the coast of South Carolina. Regardless, it IS nice to still be gardening in the winter.

WHAT’S NEW:

I was looking at my brussels sprouts the other day, checking on them to see how they’re doing. (This is my first year growing them.) And look what I found on the largest plant – little buds that will become brussels sprouts! They’re nestled where the leaves attach to the stalk.

Brussels sprout buds

Brussels sprout buds

IN THE GARDEN:

I planted more lettuce along my front walkway – to fill in the spots where the kale didn’t germinate or where I already harvested. The kale and reine des glaces lettuce that I planted among my herbs are doing well, and I love my pretty winter walkway.

Kale & reine des glaces lettuce along my front walkway

Scarlet kale & reine des glaces lettuce along my front walkway

Here’s further down the same side of the walkway.

Scarlet kale among oregano along my front walkway

Scarlet kale among oregano and sage along my front walkway

And here’s a bit of the other side of the walkway.

Scarlet kale, oregano, & sage along my front walkway

Scarlet kale, oregano, & sage along my front walkway

While I was harvesting the other day, I found this yellow butterfly flitting around on the ground. I’m thinking it might’ve been injured or something because it allowed me to touch it without flying away.

Yellow butterfly crawling on the clover in my backyard

Yellow butterfly crawling on the clover in my backyard

It looked like he was trying to fly and couldn’t. I went inside before I found out if he was okay. I hope so.

Yellow butterfly trying to fly

Yellow butterfly trying to fly

IN THE KITCHEN:

I took a break from any major cooking endeavors this past week. But I did enjoy cooking up some of my greens with olive oil and my garlic, my turnips with butter and pepper, and a couple of fresh salads.

GARDEN BOUNTY:

This past week, I harvested 2 key limes, almost 3 pounds of radishes, 3 1/4 pounds of turnips, a half pound of lettuce, 3/4 pound of greens, and 2  3/4 pounds of pumpkin. Yes, you read right. While pulling the dead pumpkin vines off my fence, I found one pumpkin I never harvested. It was in perfect condition and fully ripe. What a surprise!

Seminole pumpkin

Seminole pumpkin

I harvested the last two mature key limes on my trees. I do have a couple more growing and a few flowers that may have been pollinated.

Key limes

Key limes

I love making winter salads from my garden.

Red sails & reine des glaces lettuce

Red sails & reine des glaces lettuce

Watermelon radishes

Watermelon radishes

I pulled the rest of my purple plum radishes, along with more turnips. (Identification is from left to right.)

Purple top turnips, purple plum radishes, & golden globe turnips

Purple top turnips, purple plum radishes, & golden globe turnips

The turnip greens were perfect for eating, so I pulled some escarole to cook up with them.

Turnips greens & escarole

Turnip greens & escarole

I love these radishes – not only for salads but also for cooking. (Identification is from left to right.)

Icicle, beer, and daikon radishes

Icicle, beer, and daikon radishes

What’s happening in your garden or on your homestead this first week of January?

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4 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 1/5/15

  1. My daughter and i are rather new to large gardening. Can you recommend seed catalogs? We have always just bought seeds at a local nursery.

    Love reading your blogs! Thanks.

    Jayne

    • Thank you, Jayne. Glad you’re enjoying my posts.

      My absolutely favorite catalog is from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com). The catalog is a book – gorgeous pictures and descriptions, including the history of the seed. Some go back to our Founding Fathers!

      I also like to order from Seed Saver’s (www.seedsavers.org), Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.southern exposure.com – for seeds that grow well in the south and similar zones), Pinetree (www.superseeds.com – for smaller packets of seeds for less cost – they do have some heirloom varieties), and Jung Seed (www.jungseed.com – some nice heirlooms, and great raspberry canes).

      Those are just a few. You will find that once you order catalogs from a few seed companies, you will be on the mailing list for just about all of them. I’m starting my 4th year gardening here, and I get catalogs from all different seed and tree companies every winter. I love it!

      Please share what you will be planting this spring. And let me know if you have any questions. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out for you. 🙂

      Happy seed hunting!

  2. Hi Rosemarie,
    I am looking for netting/fencing that will allow me to increase my yield by growing vertical (Cucumbers and Beans). I will appreciate your suggestions and ideas.

    • Hi, Douglas

      Growing cucumbers vertically will certainly increase your yield. I had my beau (aka my “Garden Wilson” lol) build me a couple of trellises. I had him write a guest post on my blog with the plans. Here’s the link:
      https://sanctuarygardener.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/how-to-build-a-garden-trellis/

      You can also find it under the category of Garden Tools & Supplies.

      He also built me a couple of teepee trellises, which can be used for squash or cucumber vines if you plant them in a pot underneath. (You’ll find plans for those under Garden Tools & Supplies, as well.) I use those in my front yard. They’re prettier and I use them as an extension to my garden.

      With the garden trellis, I can plant 8 cucumbers on each side, and they have plenty of room to spread out. I usually plant regular cucumbers on one side and pickling cukes on the other. My other trellis is for small melons.

      If you have a fence around your yard, try to utilize that, too. I have a chain link fence around my back yard. Not my favorite (it came with the house), but I allow my squash and pumpkin vines to climb the fence. Not only does it help the vines, but it covers the chain link fence with pretty leaves and flowers.

      Let me know how it works for you!

      Happy garden planning!
      Rosemarie

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