Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Gardening

I recently made a check at a couple of garden centers in NE Florida to see what vegetables they had available for planting in a winter garden.  They both had a fairly good selection of herbs, especially rosemary, at hefty prices.  One center had no vegetables at all while they had fairly healthy looking plants more suited for fall.  Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and collards were available.

Those vegetables should be ready for harvesting at this time, not planting.  Planting these vegetables now will interfere with the spring garden in the April time frame.

At this time, I am busy spreading as much as possible of the compost from my pile, removing dead vegetable plants, and turning the soil.  To prevent nematodes, I have scattered sulfur on the areas that I have tilled.  No, I don't exactly have an organic garden.

I am also removing the red cabbage that did not head up well.  The green cabbage became food for worms, insects, and bugs.  I have left two healthy broccoli plants to bloom and attract the neighbor's bees.

This is the time to plant potatoes, red and white, and it is also a good time to plant various sets of onions.  Both potatoes and onions are now available most garden centers.  The potatoes will take 60 -  90 days to mature and onions will take 140 - 180 days to mature which is a long time for the onions indeed.

Red Potatoes Ready for Planting
I bought five pounds of red potatoes, cut them up, and set them out with the eyes up in three furrows in the garden.  I covered the potatoes with a thin layer of soil saving the rest for later.

I will later hill the potatoes up as they begin to sprout.  This will give the potatoes more room to grow.

Potatoes are heavy feeders requiring fertilizer, not necessarily a large amount at one time but more often.

I planted the onions among the carrots that will give way for the pole beans later this spring.  Right now, the carrots are being harvested as needed.  I have also recently planted onions outside the rows of the Oregon Sugar Pod that will give way for the okra when the weather warms up and the danger for frost and freeze is over.

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