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Winter gardening, what are you doing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok I just wanna try to get some conversation goin here about what we do in our gardens at this time of year.

Since i moved and did not have the time to prep a bed, I did not plant my winter crops BUT here is what I am doing in my garden:

1. Took the leaves out of the gutters and put them in the garden. If you have annual snowfall this is even more important so that the melting snow can properly drain and not kill your roof. I just drag a bucket up a ladder and scoop out the black goodness. Then dump the bucket right on the garden and rake it around.

2. Raked leaves into my beds to "mulch them" and protect my semi hardy perrenials. lucky for me, it has not been that cold. But this is a good use for the leaves and makes good dirt.

3. I am getting ready to sow my poppy seeds. Now is the time to do it, they need a good frost.

4. Pruned back my NON-FLOWERING hedges. Be careful of things that bloom like lilacs and hydrangeas. My neighbor thought she was helping me and pruned my hydrangea back. ARRRGHHH!!!! now I prolly wont get as many blooms.

What are you doing in your garden now?
post #2 of 14
Well, I should be putting up rabbit fence around every rose, tree, and shrub that I want to see again next year.
I can't stand those rabbits:mad: .

I stuck bulbs in the fridge in hopes of forcing them into a indoor Easter bloom.

I fertilized my indoor Christmas cactus and orchids with blossom boosting fertilizer.
post #3 of 14
Here in sunny San Diego (ok it did rain a few days ago) I just
planted spinich, and myl ettuce that self-seeds every year is sprouting.

I just trimmed the rose bush, and need to pull all the old tangerines from last year off so it will bloom again.

I'm going to harvest the last of the basil to today and make up a lot of pesto.

The bell pepper is still blooming, but the nights have been cold, so I don't know if more will set.

If I find the time, I want to remove weeds and start a new raised bed. (we have a long weedy strip by the driveway that I get a little more control of each year.)
post #4 of 14
I did not know that poppies needed frost!!! I'm way up here in NB Canada......should I try to sow them? It' still quite mild here, the earth might be malleable enough!

I'm starting all my indoor stuff.....some calendula for salve, some new herbs, some garlic and mesclun lettuce. It's a really tiny house, so I have to keep it simple. It could easily be a jungle in here. I imagine I could make use of my beds in the winter in our climate, but I never have. Maybe turnips or something! Have to look into that!
post #5 of 14
now that you've moved, are you still in the same growing zone? Dh and I are talking about NC as a possible place to relocate in about 3 years. Weren't you there before you moved?

Poppy seeds- you can probably put them in your refridgerator if you don't want to plant them now.
post #6 of 14
Getting ready for snow here in Chicago. Two weeks ago I pulled all of the plants out of my garden, except a big daisy mum that was still flowering. I started a compost pile. This is my first, and I don't think it heated up at all, it's just shrinking.

I threw winter rye seed on the garden and now it's about 2 inches high. I plan to turn it under in the spring, or winter maybe if we get a thaw.

Some of the books I read said I could still be harvesting lettuce and so many other things into November, but I sort of lost steam back in August at let everything go jungle-y :.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Leafy I am NOT in the same growing zone at all, I used to live in New Jersey and previously Indianapolis which is zone 5 then I moved to South Georgia which is 7b. I am currently living on the border between 7 and 8. It is strange some things will grow in some yards and in others they are not hardy.

It is still very warm here and I am currently wearing a pair of shorts!!!

THe bugs are monstrous and the plants get HUGE!!!!
post #8 of 14
I just brought in my tomatoes. My FIL says I can store them and use them one at a time for quite a while. I've never done that before, so I'm going to try it and see what happens. I cut the rest of the broccoli- it was a beautiful thing to see all those crowns on the counter! We had a cold snap that finally killed the okra, and a second one did in the potatoes. The onions look like they are still okay. That's all that's happening right now. As far as indoor stuff, my poor plants are lucky to get watered once or twice a month. With a baby due in two weeks, we're definitely not trying anything else right now. Margaret.
post #9 of 14
What is the purpose of the winter rye? Is it to deter weed seeds or something to do with adding nutrients to the soil?
post #10 of 14
I decided to try the winter rye as a cover crop for a few different reasons. As you mentioned, it competes with weeds and protects the soil over the winter. Also, from what I've read it adds nutrients and improves the soil's structure while it's growing and after it's turned under. My dad, who is a large-scale farmer, gets a kick out of seeing my miniature urban rye crop. I think it looks nicer and more "occupied" than bare ground, too, which I'm more concerned about since I'm renting and the plot is pretty visible.

I read about cover crops, also called green manure, in The New Victory Garden and the New Organic Grower.
post #11 of 14
I've cut down all the dead stalks now that we've had several frosts and I bought 150 pounds of composted goat manure from an organic farmer and I put that down in all the beds. I'm really a novice gardener because our garden was already well established when we bought our house. What are you supposed to do with all the woody, stalky debris from the garden? We have lots of Joe Pye Weed, black-eyed susans, echinacia and other similar plants. They dead stalks are so hard and woody that they don't seem to decompose very easily. I admit, I put it all at the curb for our large trash pick up, but it just seems like it wouldn't work in a compost pile. The previous owners of our house left behind a huge pile of these stalks. They looked like they'd been there for years and hadn't decomposed.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think that with the proper moisture and heat, those stalks would decompose. You have to have the correct balance of bacteria. a pile of woody stalks will not decompose as rapidly as a hot compost pile.

I have a ton of echinacea and remember joe pye weed stalks, they are ok material for a compost pile.

edited to add, are you sure you are talkign about black eyed susans? I think you are talking about rudbeckia. Black eyed susan is a vine related to the sweet potatoe. It should be a very tender vine. Rudbeckia on the other hand is much like echinacea in form.
post #13 of 14
You're right I was talking about rudbeckia. Thanks for the advice.
post #14 of 14
I planted daffodil bulbs. First I spread out a layer of compost, then planted the bulbs, and covered it with mulch. Looks too bare. I want to plant some of those ornamental cabbages (but I'm hesitant about disturbing my bulbs, and besides, I already covered my plot w/mulch. Today I harvested some Jeruselum artichokes.
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