Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter Garden Update

First I will start with an overview of the winter garden, this side of the house is so ugly when not full of veggies. This photo was taken today and as you can see we are still lacking the white stuff for the most part. Miss M was blogging today about how Quebec has received less snow this year and it is the same story down here in Southern Ontario. We have had at most 5cm (2") of snow this winter and not much rain either. We have had a few warm spells but I think for the most part the temperature has been seasonal. Anyway enough about the weather, lets view the veg:

Late planted leeks: Came to the conclusion leeks need a full season to
fully develop. I hope to at least harvest something this spring however.

Bright Lights Chard: It is still alive and putting out new growth, albeit
small growth. I am hoping for some nice spring chard late March-ish.

Cedar Poly Tunnel Overview: Everything is hanging in there
but not much growth. Next year I need to plant things closure
to compensate for the slower growth.

Mizuna: This is the best performing crop in cedar poly tunnel.
It has continued to grow in the cold, low light environment.

Cold Frame Overview: It has mache & spinach growing in it. They
all look rather freeze dried but both are putting on fresh growth

Mache: they all have quite a bit of new growth just starting.
Should make from some nice salads by March I hope.

Spinach: They are showing more freeze & slug damage.

Hamburg Parsley: It is starting to put on new growth. This is
the one that produces parsnip like roots as well as parsley leaves.

Well there is the update on most things in the winter garden. I am hoping there will be good harvests coming during March. Then all the crops will have to start marking way for new crops during April.


  1. Wow, I can't believe you've had stuff growing all winter long. It may look rough, but should perk back up in no time.

  2. I'm dreading what I'll find when I get home. We left before I could clean up the garden, so it will be in a real mess. Hope I can find a grandkid or two to help me with the cleanup! I have a feeling I'll be battling giant marigolds all summer, as those 4' tall ones all went to seed :-( Other than that, I'm getting real anxious to get back and begin planting!

  3. They're looking a little sad but it's good to see new growth. A larger cold frame might help to stabilize the temperatures a bit more, and it should take longer for the heat to dissipate at night.

    I don't know if it would work but you could try putting something black along the wall behind the frames. Maybe even a small lightbulb for extra warmth. I think I'm getting carried away and this is turning into a full fledged greenhouse.

  4. EG - The winter stuff has done quite well. This year I need to start things a little sooner and it would be even better. You should be able to have lots of winter crops this year with those new coldframes.

    Granny - The only thing I cleared out was the veggie garden last fall. I'll have all the gardens and pots to clear this spring. Oh well it will be nice to be out in the spring air cleaning up.

    Aerelonian - I have thought about black paint but the problem is once the sun gets strong again it would cook everything. My main problem is shade in the fall/winter months. Once the sun strengthens again things will perk up. I'd love a greenhouse, someday I hope to have one.

  5. Your winter crops are doing very well. It takes getting accustomed to the fact that the winter crops always look a little more ragged than plants grown in the high garden season. They are good eating though and as the sun strength and day length starts increasing - the growth will take off again too.

  6. It is amazing how little snow you have gotten. We have been hit with snow about every week. This coming week we will get a thaw though and will probably see ground again.

    Your veg looks like it is doing well. Hopefully it will all do well when the warmer weather hits.

  7. I noticed that all of my radishes that had died back in the freeze a few weeks ago had new growth as well. IT's amazing how things bounce back, isn't it.

  8. You mean slugs are active in the garden even during the winter???

    Chard looks so pretty growing in the garden. Hope you post another photo of your Bright Lights in March when it looks even more handsome.


  9. I sow my leeks in April and plant them out in July so they do get a long season's growth. I love leeks though, so I don't mind them taking up ground. I'm growing Hamburg Parsley again this coming season. I grew it many years ago. I love the flavour of the root.

  10. KitsapFG - I am counting the days until the sun strengthens.. been so grey lately.

    Daphne - It is strange how much snow we have had, we should have at least a foot on the ground by now. If we get a deep freeze with no snow cover it will not be good for the perennials & shrubs.

    Ribbit - It is pretty amazing how hardy some plants are.

    Donna - No slugs now but they were quite busy up to mid December. The cold frame seems to be a slug favorite.

    Veg Heaven - Thanks for the time line on the leeks. These ones I started the first of June and planted late July. If I try them again I will plant by your dates.

  11. I've never heard of hamburg parsley (or at least I don't remember hearing of it), for the winter crop, would you let it stay in the ground til after a few frosts just like parsnips?

    I must say I'm amazed at all the winter crops you do have growing! At least you are still getting new growth too!

  12. Very impressive, Dan ! Both the crops and how little snow you've had ! (I can see why you're a little worried about the perennials and shrubs !). I was gonna say the same thing as Donna about the slugs, but you cleared that up.

    I'm looking forward to that hamburg parsley, I am ! :D

  13. Very inspiring. I wonder if I put tunnels over my raised beds what I could grow there. But then my neighbours might hate me A LOT more. They are after all in my front yard...

  14. I'm really excited to grow mizuna this year. Given how well it has survived in your garden, I will have to add it to things to grow next winter.

  15. Don't you just love late winter!! I love late January / early February when things start to perk up with the increasing light levels.