Happy New Year from the Garden!
Happy New Year! We hope you were able to plant all of your carrots, radishes, beets, celery, and greens early enough in the fall so that you’re enjoying some great winter harvests even in this rainy weather. At the community garden at Persimmon Park, we’re starting to see some early signs of the slow growing (but well worth the wait!) purple sprouting broccoli, as well as some enormous heads of green broccoli:
The winter is also a good time to lay down a fresh layer of compost in your beds, especially around overwintering crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and cabbage. Every time it rains, the nutrients in the compost seep into the ground and feed the roots of your plants. Although there are many great organic compost mixes here in the Bay Area, we highly recommend “Bob’s Best” from the good people at Point Reyes Compost Co. A developing head of cabbage like the one below will definitely appreciate a nice layer of compost beneath its leaves and around its base!
Don’t forget, too, that it’s never too early to start planning for the spring! If you have the space, late February and March are a great time to plant another round of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage starts – don’t plant them from seed, though, as you want the plants to already be established as the days get longer and the temperature rises.
If you want to get a few quick crops in before you plant your tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other heat loving crops in April and May, March is a great time to squeeze a few things in. If you have limited space in your garden, the key is to plant quick and easy crops that can co-exist with baby tomato plants or that can be harvested before you do your big spring planting. Think of things like lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, and radishes, all of which can maximize your space and provide delicious harvests in 30 to 90 days from the time of their planting.
Happy gardening and we hope you’re staying dry during all this much needed rain!
PHOTO CREDITS: HOMESTEAD DESIGN COLLECTIVE