Saturday, January 15, 2011

Garden At Rest

Winter is upon us and it's time for me to put my garden to rest.  There weren't very many vegetables left out there so I decided to pick them all, turn off the sprinkler system and mulch all the beds for the season.  We are expecting three to four days of frigid temperatures and what's left out there will freeze and I'll lose it anyway. 

I wanted to introduce the puppies to the garden but still maintain control over them and their activities because the central theme of their training is I control everything.  So I brought their beds outside, tethered the pups to the outside of the garden fence, put a bowl of water between them and gave each of them a brand new pig snout to chew on.  They were pretty happy!


 Going to town on the pig snout!

 Gretchen having a good time too!

 From inside the garden fence

Once I got the pups settled, I went to work.  I picked all the carrots.  To my surprise, there were still quite a few out there.  At least enough for one more meal.  They weren't very big, but baby carrots are quite sweet and yummy!

Next, I picked all the beets.  Again, these were tiny but roasted baby beets are one of my favorite side dishes.  I have a salad of Endive and Roasted Baby Beet with Gorgonzola Cheese planned for dinner one night this week.  Can't wait for that! 

I picked the last of the cabbage a few weeks ago so I pulled all the stems and threw some of the cabbage leaves over the fence to the deer and some went in the compost bin. 

There is only one small broccoli plant left in the garden that is still growing, but there were lots of little shoots coming off the six spent stalks.  So I picked all of those and it actually equaled quite a good bunch of baby broccoli florets . 

I had two Brussels sprouts plants left and again, the sprouts were small, but there was a good bunch once I picked them all.

I had a large bale of very decomposed hay left over from 2009's Christmas decorations, so I used that to mulch all the beds.  I'm hoping this hay cover will keep the soil somewhat moist and encourage lots of earth worms to grow.  Actually, I did see many earth worms as I was pulling plants and turning soil over.  That's always a very good thing. 

So I spread all the hay evenly over the beds and I had just enough to do all six garden beds. 

I had one head of broccoli left out there that was still growing and it has a little head beginning to form.  Since I hate to pull plants that are still growing and have a chance to produce, I left that one there and just mulched it really well.  Either it will survive the coming cold weather or it won't.  But I wanted to give it its best shot.  And I'll let Mother Nature decide that one. 

I feel the same way about my green onions.  They got a late start due to lack of sunshine but have begun to sprout.  So I mulched them really well and we'll just see what happens.

At the end of the day, I had a pretty good last haul of vegetables from my garden.  I'm very happy that I was able to pull all this before the freezing temperatures hit us.  There's at least four good meals sitting here and for me, that is what it's all about.

After a very long hard (but wonderful) day in the garden, reflecting on how my fall/winter garden produced for me this year, I'm pretty content.  We had many good meals shared with family and good friends and the deer that live outside my fence line ate pretty well too :-}  Life is good. 


  1. You have a wonderfully large garden and get quite the bounty. I would love to have the space like this. Gretchen and Lacie are having a good time.

  2. Gretchen and Laci are counting their blessings! Pig snouts...the perennial favorite! Like Donna, I wish I had the space for so many raised beds...I love coming to your blog and living vicariously though...looking forward to hearing how you prepare the bounty.

  3. Your raised beds are the best I've seen out there. If I had the room, I'd build some off the formal garden areas. I am eyeing a space that I might be able to use, but that is a couple of years away:) Those "puppies" are cute, but imagine the fun they would have in the garden:)

  4. How wonderful that you're still harvesting in Jan. The only way for me to have a veggie garden is to annex my neighbors yards. I hope they don't mind!:o)

  5. Hi Donna...yes, I am very blessed to have the space that I do. I *love* spending time in my garden and the pups are enjoying themselves too! I'm already planning my spring garden!

    Yes, Cat, the pups are very content! Pig snouts are their absolute favorites! Believe me, I know how lucky I am to have the space that I do to garden in. Thank you for visiting me regularly...I always love hearing from you!

    Hi Rohrerbot...thank you for your kind words. My husband and I have worked very hard to make the garden the wonderful space that it is. And yes, my puppies would *love* to run around and dig in my garden but you can rest assured, that's NOT gonna happen :)

    Hi in South Texas is such a blessing! To be still harvesting veggies in January truly is wonderful. When I see the cold, snow and frigid temperatures gripping the DC area and the rest of the Country, I again realize how blessed I am to live where I do. Texas is such a special place. Thank you again for stopping by!

  6. That's quite a lot of veggies you harvested... now you can start to enjoy the eating!

  7. Oh, those veggies look so good! I am jealous! I'm most jealous of the broccoli and brussel sprouts. I have tried them a couple times and both times they were decimated by worms -- shredded. Do you do anything special to deter the worms? I'm sure I can research this and get some "official" answer, but I'd like to know from someone in the trenches. Your garden beds look so nice all put to rest.

  8. Such bounty! I'm drooling over the Brussels' Sprouts! Didn't even know I liked them until I steamed and then sautéed fresh ones from the CSA in garlic and butter. Yum! Thanks for sharing your bounty through pictures! --Beth

  9. Diane, it is a productive and long day out in the garden for you but I am sure you are wearing a smile seeing that bounty.

    One thing about gardeners is that the fruits of our labor makes everything worthwhile, no matter how tough the work.

  10. Hi Lrong! I have many good side dishes planned with the vegetables I harvested. I love this part of gardening...eating what I grow! Good to hear from you...thanks for stopping by.

    Toni; last year my BS were decimated by beetles and worms also. This year I sprayed the plants regularly with BT Worm Killer, an organic substance and that seemed to really help keep the worms/beetles at bay. There's a link to the product in the sidebar of my blog. I was also very diligent about checking the plants and just picking off the worms when I saw very single day!! Hope this helps!

    Hi Beth; yes, fresh Brussels sprouts are delicious when cooked simply like you did...steam then saute. I bet they were delicious! Thanks for the recipe tip :) Thank you for visiting.

    You're right, Paul. It was a long day in the garden, but to me, there is very little more satisfying than a long, hard, productive day in the garden. And yes, I am smiling pretty good right now :) So glad you stopped by!