Sunday, September 17, 2006

Winter gardening advice, please

Will you share information on what you'll grow over the winter? I suspect the time to plant is now, if not past, so I need to quit ignoring the shorter days ("funny, look how early it got dark tonight. Must be a storm coming in...").

This seed catalog came out in June, I think, from Territorial Seed Company where I have been ordering these past 2 years. Its cover is like a beautiful chalk drawing. Made me WANT to winter garden, but not enough to put the summer gardening activities aside and actually figure out when and what I needed to do.

So now that I can see an end coming to the summer fresh vegetable supply, I'm asking for your input on what you're planting now/soon to grow over the winter. Please e-mail, blog post, or post comments with your experience on having some fresh vegetables throughout the winter (and whether or not you'll cover them somehow). When will you plant them and when do you expect harvesting to start?

In western Washington, our winters can be relatively mild compared to many places in the country. Frosts, a little snow. We'll have rain and lots of gray days. Ground doesn't seem to freeze solid. Ice storms will put an end to anything not covered, I do supposed. If needed, I do have windows from the spring coldframe that I plan to set up in a garden bed, plus additional similar windows for expansion.

So far, I have young lettuce and spinach growing and plan to add some more. I started some peas in mid August to see how they might do through the fall. Maybe broccoli? I'm considering planting crimson clover in beds not being used. Any experience with this?

Thanks and many well-fed wishes,
Petunia's Gardener
(just because Petunia will hibernate, the gardener still has to eat)


Molly said...

Hi, neighbor! :) I started to leave a comment about what I'm growing this winter, and it got so long it was like hijacking your post, so I think I'll do a winter garden blog entry of my own. Your best bet right now is garlic, which the Issaquah Grange will probably carry, and which you plant in October or November, and then do nothing. It's like tulips, only easier because the slugs don't eat garlic. When the tops fall over in July you pull it up and there's a spot for next year's winter crops.
You are a little late for winter broccoli. The days are getting too short for good growth. Salad greens you could grow under a cold frame.

Harvest said...

Of course it all depends on which zone you are in and which variety you grow . . . Over here on the west coast we can plant Broccoli any time between now and the end of October or even early November and get a late winter or early spring crop. Also there are many root vegtables and other delights. Like Fennel! Yum, I love the fall and winter garden . . .

Anonymous said...

I have never grown a winter garden. I would like to try though.
If I plant anything now, it will be elephant garlic so it gets a head start.

Salix Tree said...

A lot of the time, I see what nature itself is doing. Here in Ireland, my parsley-gone-to-seed has recently started dropping its dark brown seeds, so I have planted parsley seeds as well. I did the same last year around early September, and had a nice crop of parsley all winter for eating and cooking.
I think Ireland's weather is similar to yours, so if you like parsley, planting now is good!

Marcellg said...

Winter tends to destroy my garden and the dogs finish off the lawn, every two years I have to lay new turf and replant most of the flower beds but I do have a couple of long time survivors, my pampas grass is about twelve feet tall and has constantly ten or fifteen fronds and survives everything and my srawberries come back every year.

Etssa said...

I never really grow anything over winter but I do have pampas grass that always looks good, the fronds have survived some heavy weather, but as for other plants I do not usually bother until spring. I do clean up every couple of weeks and keep it tidy and things like the garden seating and sets I always keep clean and treated to last the winter months.