Betsy, Betsy, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

broccoli spear 1

With broccoli spears and some chard ears, and carnival carrots in a row!

Hmmm. You know how you plan to post something wonderful that you baked or prepared and suddenly find that you can’t seem to get the simplest post worked out right? Has this ever happened to you? Well, this week it happened to me. And rather than let it be two weeks in between posts, I decided it was high time to take a little peek at my winter garden.

If you’ll remember, I do have a summer garden, but it doesn’t get very much sun. In fact, it’s actually the fall and well into winter when I get the most sun, so from now until early March I’ll have some interesting things popping up in the raised bed. No, it’s not a miracle. It’s just living in a climate that has a very mild winter…and no snow thus far!

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy this wee tour of my garden today, and I promise I’ll be back with something tasty for you in just a few days. By the way, how is…or just plain “is” your garden growing in your part of the world? Tell me about it!

A row of Rainbow chard. Yes, my "pick up stick" technique is still keeping cats out of the garden.

A row of Rainbow chard. Yes, my “pick up stick” technique is still keeping cats out of the garden.

Cannot wait for the broccoli...fingers crossed that they'll keep growing and growing!

Cannot wait for the broccoli…fingers crossed that they’ll keep growing and growing!

carrots, kale chard

If you look closely in front of the back row of chard you can see little wisps of carnival carrot tops. Thus far my success with carrots has been laughable.

chard, broccoli, carrots1

Chard in foreground and background, then carrots Lacinato and Red Russion Kale, Collards and broccoli. Pine straw and pine cones are a constant this time of year, providing mulch (good) and rather painful and prickly encounters if your timing is bad!

chard, broccoli, parsley

Italian flat leaf parsley left from summer (freshly harvested), surrounded by broccoli and hopefully some arugula at some point. And oh yes, more chard…a good year for it!

chard, kale, collards

Chard harvesting time!

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41 thoughts on “Betsy, Betsy, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. You are the clever wordsmith! LOL! Just saw this pop up on my email and it made me giggle. LOVE your winter garden. I’m so envious! Its too rainy and cold for a winter garden here, with the exception of my herbs. I’ll have to wait until April or May. 😦 Until then, I’ll admire your garden πŸ™‚ Beautiful!

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    • Thank you, Karista, I’m glad I could make you giggle! Well, my garden is quite small, but it really does its own thing in winter and I’m lucky to be able to still go out there and grab some fresh herbs or greens this time of year. It’s really a bright spot in an otherwise dreary landscape! And hang in there…spring will be here before we know it. πŸ™‚

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  2. A garden? Right now, at 2:15 am, it’s 11˚ and I just spent 3 hours in the basement with a furnace repairman. Don’t ask. Nevertheless, if you have things in your garden, it means that we’ll soon be talking about our own. (“Soon” being a relative term.)
    Your garden is amazing, Betsy, and thanks for the reminder that Winter isn’t a permanent condition. πŸ™‚

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    • Oh John! That does not sound like a fun evening/morning! I sure hope you got your furnace back on…11 degrees is nothing to fool around with. We haven’t gotten that cold here yet. It was 29 degrees at 9 a.m., but will warm up to 50 today. I’m glad you like my little garden…it is nice to have it producing in the midst of winter, and hang in there, spring will come! πŸ™‚

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  3. Wow veggies in the winter that is cool. Hong Kong has a very temperate climate and you would think I could grow things out on the deck all year around but green plants very much dislike seawater and pollution so nothing will grow.

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    • Funny you should say that CCU, because I really don’t take great care of it in the winter…I just put seeds and a few seedlings in and let it go! That’s part of what makes it so fun…it’s like a gift when I get something! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words!

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    • Thanks Charlie, but really it does it mostly by itself. I think the poor little garden lies in wait for some sunshine and when it finally gets it, it goes bonkers! I have a lot of things winter over and sprout by themselves in spring because of that.

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  4. What a nice garden. It is 2 and the high for this sunny day will be 10 here in New Hampshire. There is six inches of snow on the frozen solid ground. It won’t be frost free and safe to plant our garden until the end of May.

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    • Thank you kindly, Karen, and brrrrr! I think 2 has everyone else who has commented thus far beaten for the coldest temp! I can remember it getting that cold down here maybe once. And of course snow is a freak accident in these parts and cause for celebration. Stay warm and hang in there. I’ll bet you’re having some lovely fires in the fireplace these days!

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  5. I love your pickup stick protection. I bet it also works to keep squirrels and chipmunks from digging up you veggies! Carrots and all root crops are hard in that you need a lot of time and fabulous soil…rich and loamy for about 9 ” plus lots of sun. Your crops look great! You could probably start some lettuce if you wanted ’cause it is still so warm. Enjoy & thanks for sharing.

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    • Hey there and thanks for your kind words. I know I haven’t set this up right for carrots…not to mention I didn’t put them in the sunnier part of the garden or thin them, LOL! The pick up sticks do deter other critters, though an occasional rabbit or bug (yes, with this warm weather) will get in there and chew. Appreciate your professional words of advice!

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  6. No winter garden here Betsy! Just piles of snow….covering my herb pots that haven’t been put into the shed yet and will likely crack! You have all the makings of some lovely salads there Betsy. Makes me feel like spring is right around the corner (please tell me that it is………………)

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    • Hi Barb, I sure hope spring is around the corner…I think it is! We have such a wacky winter down here. It was in the 70’s last week and is down in the 20’s tonight. By Friday we have a winter storm watch. But before we know it, spring WILL be here. Hang in there, and yes meanwhile, I shall have some lovely winter greens…wish I could share with you!

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    • Thank you, Smidge, that’s very kind of you to say. I have such a small garden and one side of it (where those carrots are struggling) is almost always in shade. That makes it about a 50-50 proposition at the best of times, but it is lovely to have some prospects growing out there this time of year…lifts your spirits for sure! πŸ™‚

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    • Oh Tanya, how I wish I could share some chard with you right now! Last year I didn’t put anything in the garden for winter and it was so bleak. I’d intended to just put in a cover crop this year, but couldn’t resist the promise of some goodies in winter. Hang in there…spring will be here before we know it, and meanwhile you have all that lovely seafood!

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  7. Thanks for the tour of the garden Betsy. Liz and I will be jealous for the longest of times, as we recently moved into a condo and have no immediate access to a garden. We’re hoping gain a plot in a community garden to alleviate our pain. πŸ™‚

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    • You’re most welcome for the tour, Jed. I remember when I lived in a condo I did have access to outdoor space but not for gardening. I longed for a place to at least grow things in pots. And then I moved into this completely shaded house, LOL! A community garden plot sounds like a lovely idea for you guys and I do hope you get one…we have some great ones in our area.

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  8. I saw this post a couple of days ago…I couldn’t bring myself to comment. I usually don’t get green with envy, but I have to say, you are certainly pushing my limits. Bad Betsy (my, does that seem to happen often?) posting photos of your garden when clearly all of our northern gardens are under about a foot of snow. It’s so cold today (about 14Β°C or 6.8Β°F) that I can’t even think about going out without about a half hour of bundling time prior.
    OK, I’m done venting. I thank your good Southern Manners for this little time-out. Now I’m going to sulk. Broccoli.

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  9. Your chard is lovely and your little broccoli spear! I am so jealous. I have terrible luck with growing vegetables or even herbs. My husband has lovely succulents though. That sounds kind of dirty. Anyhow, good luck with the carnival carrots and the next post my friend! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much, Geni! I don’t have high hopes for the carrots, but everything else seems to be humming along! πŸ™‚ Am hoping to get that other post out in the next couple of days. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  10. Apparently her garden grows beautifully!

    Good luck with all the produce you are growing, I bet it’s going to taste fabulous, and you will know how healthy and well cared for its been.

    Another lovely post πŸ™‚ x

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  11. Not a miracle? I think anything growing in one’s garden, any time of year, is a bit of a miracle…but that’s spoken from a gardener-wanna-be. Mostly it’s a healthy herb garden and good strawberry beds. But THIS year, it’s chard the likes of yours Betsy! Lovely! And so lucky!

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    • Sounds like you’re not just a wanna be gardener to me, Spree! A nice big herb garden and especially strawberries are nothing to sneeze at. I have to grow most of my herbs in pots…they just will NOT grow in the shady area of the garden, except for the parsley in winter. Hope you have a super weekend.

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  12. That’s one beautiful head of broccoli, bet it was delicious. I see many side shoots on the stalk, you will be harvesting a lot of “babies”. Your chard is gorgeous. We are in the low single digit, with wind chill it was in the minus few mornings ago. So clever with your β€œpick up stick” technique to keep the cats out of the garden. With your acidic soil, berries should do well.

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    • Hi Norma! I have to confess that I haven’t harvested the broccoli…it’s only about an inch across or so and I thought it needed more time to be a bigger head of broccoi…my first broccoli attempt, so I’m a novice. So, should I harvest to make the babies grow? And also, I’m interested in the berry idea. I have no sun, so the blueberries in the back don’t produce well and I never thought to put strawberries or others in this raised bed because of no sun in spring/summer. Now I’m curious. Minus degrees…not envying you that!

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      • Your broccoli looks like it is ready to harvest. I don’t think it is going to get any bigger. Cut just above the baby. Once the baby matures, cut it with the main stem, you do not want to have too many skinny babies.

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