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pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
4,940
Location
Woodbury, NJ
I figured that it was time to start a thread for this year's garden, though a lot of these are still from last year's garden! I have been using the leaf lettuce from 3 plants that simply have not figured out that it's winter, and the dill is still growing in that same container. And in my front "flowerbed" (where I grow almost all food, of course), I cut back the tatsoi and Swiss chard back to the ground a little over a month ago, and they're growing back! The bok choy has not come back, but might come back in spring, or before, then go to seed. I'm thinking of letting the tatsoi do this, and if any others come up, pull them quickly, so they won't cross - brassicas do this easily.
Tatsoi coming back again, after cutting back for the 3rd time. A total of 4 Swiss chards in the front row. 1-8 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Leaf lettuce and dill, coming back again, though they never totally died off. 1-8 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I recently "extracted" the seeds from the dried flowers from those lettuce seeds that I got from that plant that went from May to September before bolting - unheard of for any lettuce! This variety is something I got in a "Mesclun Mix", and have never been able to find what variety it is! I kept ordering similar looking varieties, and they would all bolt early (usually in early June, maybe a little later). This one would last well into July, and each time I'd save seeds, they'd last a little longer into summer, before bolting, and this was incredible - two other ones next to it bolted in mid August, which still would have been longer than any other types. I'll see what happens next year. This variety also does very well in the hydroponics, and usually takes 6 months or more to bolt.

I have all of my tomato seeds already, though it's almost 3 months before I plant them. I have 21 I am growing, and but 4 are new (to me) varieties(!), but there are 2 others I might repeat - some of the old seeds I've gotten from other gardeners, are being tested as I type this! I got a lot from them, so plenty to try out early.

Hard to believe I have more tomato varieties than peppers! lol Every season, however, I have a larger number of peppers I have to grow, so not as many spaces to try new ones. This season, one new one I'll try is that Indian Byadagi variety, that I get by the pound, and I got a new batch shortly after TG, along with Kashmiri, and I tried about 15 pepper seeds from some of each variety, and a bunch of the Byadagi germinated, but not one of the Kashmiri seeds sprouted. I only got one new pepper variety so far - a jalapeno, Mucho Nacho, so hopefully it will do better than the ones I've grown in recent years, which have been ok, but nothing spectacular.

I have a variety of eggplant - Matrosik - I got seeds for from a lady in S Florida, so I figured that it would have to be heat resistant! I also got Asian Delight hybrid, and Long Purple, along with the Ichiban I grow every year, and that should be enough for this season! The new okras last year didn't do great, so I'll be doing just the Emerald and Little Lucy, unless I get something in a trade.
 
I just got most of my seeds delivered for next year . Primarily Burpee, Bakers Creek and Territorial seed companies. I'm in the process of planning things out . What will go where, and what will replace what and when.

Still adding to the compost pile, although it has gotten cold and a little snow on the ground, so I have one of those compost barrels on my patio to make my life easier until things thaw out a bit.

Alll my potted fig trees hibernating in the garage and shed. Rooting a bunch of cuttings in the basement. My indoor mushroom room is still producing oyster mushrooms. I'll probably order some more of the exotic mushroom blocks in a few weeks when I get back from Boston ( got a convention to go to). Parsley, growing in the Aquaponic system.

Outside, Lettuce, kale, chard, arugula and parsley still alive as of last week, but with the recent snow and colder weather, not sure what survived)

Garlic, potatoes, onions and shallots stored in my garage. About 50% of the potatoes have sprouted, but the rest are firm and still useable.

My plum trees developed a disease, so I'll probably cut them down before they affect other trees. Likely going to replace them with Almond and apricot trees, and maybe an in ground fig tree.

Most of the next few months will be planning. I've been keeping a weekly list for the past 2 years on what I need to do in the garden on a weekly basis. It's a good reminder, and gives me an idea how Im doing compared to previous years.

I'm going to take a break from peanuts and pop corn this year. They are both fun crops, but I can use the space to try new things. Also pruning a significant amount of the trees in my yard so I have more sun for the garden. On of the trees that will go is the maple tree, which planted itself next to the garden years ago, but now is producing too much shade. I'll wait til after February so I can tap it one more time for Maplle syrup. Hopefully I get more than 3 Tbs of syrup this year.
 
I overwintered some garlic (again) and it seems to be growing!!!! 👩‍🌾
With the warm beginning of winter, my garlic is also up a few inches.
The other day we got an inch or two of snow. enough to cover my greens.
Yesterday we got a few inches of rain to wash away all the snow.
Greens still alive and kicking!
Also got a broccoli thats been about the same size for the last month or two.
 

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Broccoli stems, leaves, trees all good in a stir fry.
We now have 6 inches of snow, Monday we're expecting a high of 0 deg F, brrrr.
 
Broccoli stems, leaves, trees all good in a stir fry.
We now have 6 inches of snow, Monday we're expecting a high of 0 deg F, brrrr.
Ouch! It's only gotten below freezing a few times (none extended) here. Next week things may take a more wintery turn. I should really cover up those rows if I want them to survive longer.
 
With our weather here this winter I almost feel like I live in New Jersey! - or Long Island! :oops:
Well, your weather is mitigated by a large body of water, Lake Ontario. It is a "warm" part of Canada. It's why there is so much agriculture on the Niagara Peninsula. Do you get lake effect snow?
 
Everything in my garden is dead and what isn't will be with the freeze coming up the next few days.

I suspect the willow tree is OK and maybe the Shasta daisies will come back, but the smoke bush is a goner because it got wilt last year so it needs to be pulled and the climbing rose looks terminal. But the pampas plant is doing great and guess what's growing like crazy?

The parsley.
 
My parsley lived through the entire winter last year, even when the temps got into the teens! It wasn't until March, when it bolted, since it's a biennial. This weekend I'll be harvesting the last of some of my greens, since it is getting much colder next week - Wednesday has a forecast high of 29°, and a low of 19° one of the nights, so the parsley might be the only survivor.
 
Hamilton, where I was born used to get tons of snow. Toronto, just down the road mostly got fog and drizzling rain.

Fast Forward 70 years and Hamilton is now getting fog and drizzling rain. And Toronto is still getting fog and drizzling rain. With snow storm warnings that never appear.
 
Got back home. The first thing I checked were the veggies, still in the garden ( Lettuce , kale, arugula) to see if they survived the ice, snow and subfreezing temps last week. The last few days it's been much warmer with a lot of rain, washing away all the snow and ice . I know kale and arugula are pretty hardy, but I thought for sure the leaf lettuce was a goner. To my surprise, everything looks exceptionally healthy! Looks like salad is on the menu this week. It dud snow first, so Im guessing the snow insulated the crops from the harsher weather. Actually, I just checked my notes, and last year I was harvesting all of February with these 3 crops.
 

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All I have left currently (edible) is the Bay tree (outside) and a small pot of parsley which is on the kitchen windowsill. I have bought a little garden cabinet with perspex sides and lift-up lid and shelves and hope to get some seedlings going in there. Along with the usual herbs (coriander, mint and basil), plus tomatoes and potatoes, I am going to try to grow some strawberries and some kind of lettuce this year.
 
I finally went out in the garden again today - it's been raining so much that I had to wait for it to dry out, at least a little, and watch closely where I was stepping. The garlic didn't seem bothered at all by the cold, and the snow probably helped it! The garlic chives and Syrian oregano are already showing new growth, and the marjoram (another, even hardier oregano variety) started growing back as soon as I harvested all of it in November, and didn't cover any of it.
The parsley is still growing, and the Swiss chard is growing back for the umteenth time! I don't know when it will go to seed, but it might be soon.
Garlic, last day of January, for 2024, most still growing, after being covered with snow. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Some Syrian oregano, growing back, after I cut it back, and covered with 6" of leaves. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Garlic chives, getting green shoots already, on 1-31-24 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Marjoram, started growing back as soon as I harvested, in early November, and it didn't seem to notice the winter! by pepperhead212, on Flickri
 
I finally went out in the garden again today - it's been raining so much that I had to wait for it to dry out, at least a little, and watch closely where I was stepping. The garlic didn't seem bothered at all by the cold, and the snow probably helped it! The garlic chives and Syrian oregano are already showing new growth, and the marjoram (another, even hardier oregano variety) started growing back as soon as I harvested all of it in November, and didn't cover any of it.
The parsley is still growing, and the Swiss chard is growing back for the umteenth time! I don't know when it will go to seed, but it might be soon.
Garlic, last day of January, for 2024, most still growing, after being covered with snow. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Some Syrian oregano, growing back, after I cut it back, and covered with 6" of leaves. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Garlic chives, getting green shoots already, on 1-31-24 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Marjoram, started growing back as soon as I harvested, in early November, and it didn't seem to notice the winter! by pepperhead212, on Flickri

Your garlic should come out great this year. Ten years ago when ours was covered in snow for weeks (1 Metre!), we produced the best garlic ever, and we had only just sowed it.
 
I finally went out in the garden again today - it's been raining so much that I had to wait for it to dry out, at least a little, and watch closely where I was stepping. The garlic didn't seem bothered at all by the cold, and the snow probably helped it! The garlic chives and Syrian oregano are already showing new growth, and the marjoram (another, even hardier oregano variety) started growing back as soon as I harvested all of it in November, and didn't cover any of it.
The parsley is still growing, and the Swiss chard is growing back for the umteenth time! I don't know when it will go to seed, but it might be soon.
Garlic, last day of January, for 2024, most still growing, after being covered with snow. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Some Syrian oregano, growing back, after I cut it back, and covered with 6" of leaves. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Garlic chives, getting green shoots already, on 1-31-24 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Marjoram, started growing back as soon as I harvested, in early November, and it didn't seem to notice the winter! by pepperhead212, on Flickri
Nice head start you got there.
My chard also is usually a winter survivor. I usually grow it through the season, in various parts of the garden replacing crops that have died. In the fall, I dig up all the chard that is scattered around the garden and put them all next to each other to make it easier for me too cover for the winter ( although last year I was lazy, and didnt cover them, but they still look good). After the winter they usually go to seed, but II usually do a mass harvest and make a Palak Paneer - Like dish or a Spinach ( chard) pie out of them. sometimes I'll cook/ blend them down and freeze for a future Palak Paneer. I also dig them up cause I have usually transplanted the in an area meant for something else the following year.

It's also kind wet outside, so I'll stroll through the garden mentally planning it out and keeping note of what kind of a clean-up I'm in for in a few months . I am planning on rotating crops a bit this year. I always get a bit nervous , cause although trying to improve things, I'm always afraid I may make things worse. My garden is very specific on which areas get better/ more sun which is why certain crops do better in certain regions than others. I am planning on doing a pretty heavy pruning of the surrounding trees to help with the sun exposure. I try to do this every couple of years, cause they have a tendency to grow towards the open area of my yard, shading out the grass and parts of the garden. In addition, I have an apple and peach tree which produce large amounts of inedible fruits. Or at least inedible for me, but the yellow jackets love the fallen/ rotting fruit which as led to a few incidents, so those trees are goners.
 
I plan to do less this year. I am removing one garden, leaving me with just one veg/herb garden.

My oregano, thyme and rosemary looks like it will make it through the winter, so I'll just have to plant new basil (as expected).

I'm going to stop growing peppers. They don't set fruit for most of the summer, due to the excessive heat we now get every summer. I get no peppers from July to September, and a whole bunch of peppers in October. I can easily buy a decent variety of peppers in Texas at the grocery stores -- even in The hottest months.

I still like having fresh herbs right outside my kitchen door (the fresh herbs available in stores is pretty bad), so I'll focus my efforts on those.

CD
 

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