Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February's Garden (2018)

February's garden was desolate at the beginning of the month.  Almost everything had been picked or was sitting dormant not growing.  Then this past week, the sun decided to shine, the temperature rose to the upper 60's and all the small stems sprang back to life.  Every day it is possible to see new growth on each remaining plant.  The hoop house coverings were removed because the temperature has not dipped below 30 degrees for a week.

This area will be plowed first so these vegetables have almost all been picked.  It has been a winter garden spot for two years in a row now and needs to be rotated.

Most of the collard plants died from some type of stem rotting disease.  The few remaining are either immune or extremely healthy.   It was a big mistake to plant collards in the same spot for two years straight.  I knew better than to do it but risked it anyway.  All will be harvested soon and this area will be plowed under.  Nothing in the collard family will be planted here for a few years so the ground can heal.  I will probably plant beans, flowers, herbs or may let the area lie fallow.

The rows by the back fence are doing great. They were harvested down to nothing and are now growing fast after only a few days of sunshine. This area will be the last to be plowed so harvesting will continue through late Spring.  I will focus on using other plants and save these back two rows for later.

The small experimental bed beside the shed has done better than expected.  I have not harvested much from it because many of the plants are mustard greens.  We don't care much for them but I have a hard time throwing away any seeds.  This bed is all the odd leftover seeds which were dumped into the soil.

This picture shows how effective the hoop houses are at protecting the plants.  The seeds were planted down the whole side of the shed but the hoop house was only a few feet long.  It was a short piece of fabric left from last year's garden.  The bare area in front of the hoop house below was planted with the same seeds at the same time as the plants under the hoop house.  They all died but the plants under the hoop house are thriving.  It amazes me how anything can survive the winter. 

Now is the best time to be in the garden, the plants are quickly changing, there are no irritating bugs, the weather is warming, and no backbreaking work is required.  It's nice to go out, sit on a stool and only pick. 

Enough different varieties survived through the winter to keep our meals interesting.  I tried to label everything but don't promise I am correct.  Since I grow so many different things, I get confused, the labels get moved and some things were still too small to identify.

Garden Sorrel
Morris Heading Collard

Danver's Half Long Carrot
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
Ford Hook Swiss Chard
Superschmelz Kohlrabi

Southern Giant Curled Mustard Greens
Vates (?) Collard Greens

Miner's Lettuce
Elephant Garlic

French Sorrel

Brunswick Cabbage

Yahoo!  Life is great!  Only 20 days until Spring arrives and I am ready with my new hairdo.  Today the weather is perfect and I am soaking up the sunshine with my pack members.

If only the bright sunshine did not hurt my eyes. Life would be perfect.

Problem solved.  No matter what, I am always cool.

Last Month's January Garden (2018)

Last Year's February Garden (2017)

Also shared on Wildflower Wednesday


  1. Too hard to keep leafy greens alive in our drought.
    But if I had mustard greens, would love to harvest them!

    1. If you lived close enough I would give all the mustard greens to you! I hoard seeds and can't make myself throw any away. I did manage to put some of the really old ones out on the deck for the birds to eat.

      I keep checking your weather report from time to time. Thank goodness you got a little rain.

  2. I love seeing all that green!
    Hope you are having a great week!

    1. I was having a great week until winter weather and rain returned. Now I must return to my seed catalogs and continue dreaming.

  3. Love your greens! I guessed wrong on everything in your pictures, obviously I have never grown any of those. lol I need to be building some raised beds but it could be a couple of weeks before it dries out again. IF it stops raining today.

    1. You may be right and I may be wrong! I tried to identify everything but it's hard. My seeds have been scrambled, labels have been lost and I have traded with other gardeners. Since I have been blogging I have tried to do better but it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

      It may not stop raining. I was awaken early this morning by an emergency phone alert warning of floods in my area. Perhaps it would be a good day to stay home blog.

  4. Your February garden is fantastic!

  5. Ooops.....I have no idea how I sent the previous message with one swipe of a key! I must be a computer genius! NOT! Anyway, things are looking good in your neck of the woods. It will be a while before we see that kind of growth here (sigh). It's nice ok to see something to look forward to....At this stage of the game I want to tell Old Man Winter to give it up already! Hugs to Scooter....

    1. The beautiful weather only lasted a few days and now we are back to winter. It won't stop raining and I am getting depressed. At least we are finished with February, which I think is the longest month of the year.

      Poor Scooter needs hugs because we had a fight last night. Before bedtime he would NOT go off the porch because it was raining and the ground was wet. He hates to get wet. I knew he would wake me up in the middle of the night wanting to go out. So Scooter got shoved off the porch with the broom and I blocked the steps until he did "you know what." As soon as he finished, he bolted back to the porch and almost smashed his nose trying to beat me in the house. Right now he is wrapped up in the electric blanket and may never get out of bed.

  6. It was fun seeing your greens. I have never tried using a hoop house, but would like to try sometime. My vegetable garden is not as big as I'd like, though. I usually have my first lettuce, spinach and radishes planted by now, but I haven't been able to because of the snow. I am glad for the amount of moisture we have gotten from it, though.

    1. I have been surprised at how well the hoop houses have worked. It has taken a few years to figure out what is best, and every winter I learn more. Before you decide to do it, do check back and read my other posts about winter gardening. Hopefully, you can avoid some of my mistakes.

  7. So many different green leaves ! Yes, such a hoop house really makes a difference.
    It is a good idea to plant beans next season where you had cabbages last time. These are
    cruciferous plants and do not want to grow on the same garden bed a second time. Beans, who are papilionaceous plants would be a good choice as they even have the special ability to
    fix nitrogen via their root system. Potatoes would also be a good choice. But I would add
    a bit of compost or some natural fertilizer as cabbages are strong uptakers (have a high
    demand for nutrients, so the soil is a bit "poor" after they are cut) As you have such a
    large garden, it is easy to do crop rotation.

    1. Beans it will be! I will put beans in that spot along with some of the compost from my compost pile.

      Potatoes will need to be in an area that is easiest to dig since Bill will be doing the digging. I won't know that until he begins to plow the garden.

  8. I love seeing your garden, as always. I can't get rid of even the small amount of greens I have in my garden. The troops flatly refuse. "I'm not hungry." "That tastes like dirt." "The texture of the kale is scratchy." Hmmmmm. So, summer veggies are much more popular around here, but some still complain. I guess there's one in every crowd:). Anyway, when I want a little to add to something, I still pick some and have plenty for that. I like to add some chard or spinach into spaghetti sauce, etc. at times.

    My seedlings are doing great in the new greenhouse. I'm having to water every single day because they are using water faster as they grow. I've done a little transplanting, and need to get on the tomatoes this weekend. I like to get those as big as I can because at our last house, in higher elevation, we didn't get many tomatoes before it frosted if they weren't big when I planted them. Here, I'll just have tomatoes sooner. At least that's the plan!!!

    Scooter doesn't even look like himself with that haircut! It's amazing what a haircut will do for a dog.

    1. We don't like mustard greens unless I pour the water off and cook them again. The nutrients are in the water I throw out, which is a waste. We prefer the Chinese greens that don't have the strong flavor and are mild. However, the bugs also prefer the juicy, tender greens much better than the mustard greens. Nothing eats them. I think all of those seeds are gone now so I can move on to other things. I really have a problem throwing away old seeds.

  9. Gardening whether vegies or ornamentals is always fun, however i still need sometime longer to do that. I have a problem though in my area near our house as many trees are already tall covering much of the sunshine. What you did to your dog is so funny but sweet!

    1. Scooter was not happy, at all. We tried to also put a straw hat on his head and he would not let us. He kept dropping his head, or laying down, or moving away or looking pitiful. I took so many bad pictures it was hilarious. Since Mom loves Scooters pictures, I posted all of the failures on her Facebook. She called me laughing as soon as she saw them. Then she tried to shame me for making him endure the photo op.

  10. I'm not fond of mustard greens either, but found I could eat them raw when mixed with other milder greens in a winter salad, ie: kale. I cut or rip them into bite sized pieces, mix in pieces of oil cured olives (we're olive lovers, though I know not everyone is a fan), and make a dressing with olive oil, garlic that went through a press, and feta cheese. It's nicest when it sits and softens a little while. It's quite a strong flavored salad, but we love it. Just another possibility.

    1. I will try it that way since it sounds delicious. I love feta cheese, olive oil and there is no such thing as too much garlic (my husband disagrees with that last statement). It just isn't fair that mustard greens, my least favorite green, seems to be the easiest thing to grow.