Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January Garden Update

I am so glad that I made myself garden through the winter this year. Usually by now the garden is full of weeds and a bunch of work to prep for spring. But not this year. By planting haphazardly but fully, I have kept the weeds at bay and produced wonderful organic food for my table.

Look at this Swiss chard. Gorgeous. We love it. I chop it up for stir fries and it so delicious. Started from seed. It is simple to grow. Put some in early spring and you will not be disappointed.

My bell peppers languished in our hot summer we had but now they are producing the best peppers I have ever had. Look at the size of this baby. I am so glad I did not pull these plants out.

This week, with the sun on my back, I cleaned up some empty patches and planted more chard, bok choy, more lettuce, multi colored carrots, and some various greens. See my tomato plants? Still giving me a few a week.

I think the wall the garden backs up to retains the heat of the sun and helps keep the garden warm at night.

This robust volunteer tomato plant I decided to keep. It is so darn healthy looking that I want to see what it does. I slapped a tomato cage around it and we will see.

It has blossoms but whether they will set for tomatoes I am not sure.  Time will tell.

 This month I harvested:
2 kinds of peppers
collard greens
Swiss chard
Not bad for December.



  1. Wow, you had quite the harvest! I love collards and green peppers. We had collard greens with hoppin' john on New Year's Day!

  2. What a great harvest!! Last summer I got more tomatoes from a volunteer plant than I did from the ones I planted.

  3. No not bad for December. March will be here soon and I can plant some lettuce myself. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  4. What a beautiful and productive winter garden! I planted Swiss Chard for the first time last year and it was great just steamed!

  5. Awesome!I am going to try gardening again this year. The thing I hate the worst is weeding! ;)

  6. That is amazing Elaine!!!
    Love it!
    See you Friday!

  7. Are those pumpkins real? Are they being aged before storage? Lucky you to have a winter garden. Mine is under 3 inches of snow! One of these years I'll have a cold frame...

  8. I love the way the cinderella pumpkins look scattered through out. I wish my veggie garden still looked that beautiful this winter. The only stuff I still have growing in my garden are artichokes, perennial basil, carrots, and chard.

    It looks like your veggies are out front. Do you ever have issues with passersby helping themselves to your bounty?

  9. Yes the cinderella pumpkins are real. I swear it is the chicken manure as I have attempted to grow pumpkins forever and this was the first year I was successful.

  10. wow, what a great reason to go to the garden. yummy!! you all enjoy! ( :

  11. Great harvest! I love the colors of those Bright Lights chard leaves against the blue of the colander! I have that chard also, and now I'm really wanting a blue colander -- such a luscious color.

    Do you harvest nasturtium leaves and flowers for your salads, too? We get so hot here in the summer I never can grow nasturtiums very well. But for dropping in the low 20's or teens maybe 7 or 8 nights out of the year -- I think our growing season would be a little like yours -- but then we get a frozen spell that knocks everything out. As long as I keep things covered I seem to be able to keep chard, broccoli, collards, chives, parsley, and sorrel going. No way for any "fruiting" crops, though.

  12. Wow, Thats great you are still getting vegetables out of your garden ! Now that the holidays are over I am ready to garden again but I have a long wait being we live in the Chicago area !:)

  13. Oh we are really enjoying ours too. We have loads of onions, broccoli, cauliflower abd tons of lettuce. It is so good. We didn't plant peppers and I sure wish we had, I really miss them. Your garden is doing great. Hugs, marty

  14. Lovely garden! What I wouldn't give to be able to have a garden year-round! I love rainbow chard. It is so gorgeous. Volunteer plants are the best, too!

  15. What a beautiful bounty! The cinderella pumpkin is my favorite, along with fresh Swiss chard. Yum, I like it sauteed in garlic and oil, with raisins and some pignoli nuts. Mmmm. That green pepper is huge. Would be nice to stuff, with ground beef and rice. xo

  16. Elaine, you are just amazing! I am so jealous. Your garden is beautiful. That is the prettiest swiss chard, so shiny I think I've ever seen. I cannot wait till spring. Living in a mud lolly here! Great job.

  17. I have to say that's amazing, I can't imagine harvesting all that yummy produce this time of year - plus keeping the weeds down, that's a win-win decision you made to garden through the winter!

  18. Wow! I envy your garden. We love swiss chard also. My son gives us some when he gets his organic co-op share in the garden months here. I have never tried it in stir fry. Thanks for the new idea.

  19. Good for you! My garden is buried under snow...

  20. I am still blown away that anyone can garden all year

    What a haul, you are so smart to have done that.

    Swiss Chard is on my list for next spring.


  21. Such beautiful gardens and harvest! Thank you so much for linking up today. I can't wait to get into my own gardens. Congratulations on your successes!

  22. Hi Elaine-
    I've been reading and catching up on your blog...I've been away this past week...I feel like I've missed so much.
    I love the thought of growing during the winter months. We did this last year (well, 2011) it was great fun. But quite interesting too!
    This year has been somewhat mild, but very rainy! While I wish I had the veggies...I'm sort of glad we're taking a break from the garden we've been gardening since before the "big one" of 2011-- (the heart attack) Anyway--the rest has been nice, but will be glad to get the garden in come February--for potatoes and corn. I hope I'm ready then. :)
    Your garden looks great. I bet you're right about the heat in the retaining wall.

    Take care, Pat

  23. Hi Elaine!
    I'm amazed at your winter garden. Oh, to live in sunny southern California! Your bell peppers look scrumptious. With your garden thriving it is sure to help out a bit with your grocery bill.
    Enjoy all that fresh homegrown flavor, my friend!
    Carolynn xxx

    No baby yet...Still waiting.

  24. Nice!
    So glad that you were able to harvest a nice little crop of veggies.

    I would LOVE if I could be in the gardens now.
    So, thanks for sharing with us folks that are snow-bound :)

  25. How wonderful, Elaine. I would love some fresh homegrown tomatoes right about now :)

  26. In the northeast with cold and snow, I often forget that others can grow veggies and flowers at this time and its so much fun to read about it! : )

  27. We went to Italy for four days last week (61/2 hours drive from home) and I noticed that there is vegetabel growing in the gardens. Wow, there are places not too far south, where winter is lovely. :-)

  28. I am very impressed with your winter garden! That is one of the wonderful things about living in a warm climate, I suppose. Your volunteer tomato plant may do just as well as the others. I had a volunteer tomato plant at one house that I lived in and it came up each spring and provided us with the sweetest cherry tomatoes that I have ever eaten, it was like free candy! Only better.
    I love swiss chard, and yours makes me hungry just looking at it.
    Hugs, Cindy

  29. I'm impressed, Elaine! It's awesome that you're gardening through the winter! Our weather is so strange and changing that winter gardening is not something I think we could do around here!

    Have a great day!


  30. I am just so envious of your garden! If we had a single bit of sun, I would be right in there with you. We have had an exceptionally cold winter here, but I might try to plant some chard in pots while the trees are empty of their leaves. Another thing to drag inside when it freezes :) Great inspiration, Elaine, thanks!
    xo, Andrea

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  32. We're buried under a couple of feet of snow in Maine. I'm very, very jealous of your harvest!

  33. Your garden did very well. Cant believe the size of that pepper!

    My tomatoes did better after the heat of summer passed last year. I think by the looks of my garden at the moment, I wont be planting too much more until it is cooler. Australia is cooking! I must get my big pumpkins in though so they can get established and provide me with enough for winter...


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