December Garden – Farmstead Style
The December vegetable garden is revealing it’s bounty daily or at least weekly, but it is a garden of stalwart characters. Not a your fancy hothouse variety garden where the seasons are pushed to the limit, but a more hardy, sustenance type garden.
We’ve had a few frosts, not enough to kill off the tops of the root vegetables or the cover crop, but enough to show us winter has begun. Rather than waxing all poetic on you, I’ll let the camera speak for the gardens.
We’re in that weather phase right now, where cold Arctic air can give us a hard freeze. But I need a moderate freeze to kill back the tops of the root vegetables I plan to hill with soil for freeze protection. Hill too soon and the tops get in the way, hill too late and I risk not getting it done. Always on weather watch. I keep a weather eye on this blog, the local weather guy keeps a blog too, and he lives about a mile from me, but he gets it wrong too much. Sigh, I’ll stick with the Washington blog, the cold weather from Canada hits there first… .
Brassicas rule the roost in the Pacific Northwest maritime garden.
Location, location, location. Can’t say it enough, microclimates must be reckoned with in the garden. This row of Melissa is showing some freeze damage, however a row in a sunnier location is faring much better.
The jury is still out on the celeriac. Dig it up and store it somewhere? Dirt mulch and hope for the best? Eat it to beat the band and forget about the rest of it?
Hardy greens only in the greenhouse. No heroics or trying to live in a different climate. We decided this year to extend the growing season on both ends, not try to make it last all year. Rest periods are good, for us and the land.
The barley cover crop was seeded in stages in this garden, some has seed heads but most is green and lush. Not much sign of winter kill yet, except in the rows that are mature. Even so, it’s doing a good job being a cover crop.
The parsnips are showing some frost damage, which takes the sting out of their greens while digging.
The garden feels like it is right on schedule, mostly at rest but still yielding tasty delights.