Winter Garden Update

It doesn't look like much, but who knew a garden could make so much progress in the winter? 

My Brussels sprout plants shortly after planting in October 2009.

And now -- January 2010.

I checked on them again today and I have tiny sprouts growing along the main stems that are about the size of a nickel!

If they stay on pace, we'll get a harvest in early spring.  Lots of holes in the leaves.  But the straw is keeping them from freezing (that and the fact that it hasn't gotten below 40˚F in the last month) and it keeps the air circulating as they grow taller.  Not bad for a first attempt in the off season.

Predictably, the slugs have devoured what remained of the lettuces and radicchio.

But before that occurred, I managed to harvest five small heads of crimson radicchio around Thanksgiving time.  I think I'll definitely grow radicchio again next season. 

As for the rest:  the thyme is healthy and the leeks are still growing (yeah!).  I've covered them with hay, too, in the hopes they will fare well should we get a freeze this month.

Apparently, however, my garlic is confused.  Our temperate winter weather has tricked my garlic into thinking that spring is here.  Now it's starting to come up.  Argh.

I still have some clean up work to do before spring -- digging up the dahlia bulbs, moving around some of the perennials, spreading fresh chicken manure so it can age.  Oh, and I discovered some volunteer Meeker raspberries that I would like to encourage, so I need to make some room for them to spread.

My compost piles under burlap are whithering nicely, which suggests that I should turn them this week.  I guess that's the down side of having a garden plot working every season of the year -- the gardener has to work too.

Next thing you know, it'll be spring and I'll be planting peas.  Oh, where are those seed catalogs . . .


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