Saturday, December 20, 2008

Veggie Garden Update-December 2008

Tina's Veggie Garden Update:
The vegetable garden has been put to sleep for the winter. There is nothing more I can do to grow anything in it until the weather and ground begins to warm up in February. I have added compost, reset the A-Frames, turned the soil, moved last summer's debris to the nearby compost bin, and set my vegetable markers in anticipation for February's planting. My neighbor's children came over for a visit and the first thing the nine year old said was "What happened to the garden??" I explained it is only sleeping and will wake up soon enough. I am slowly trying to teach her gardening. Anyhow, the above shot is looking east from Mr. Fix-it's garage. Let's go inside the gate to see what is happening up close.

Ah, there to the right are some hardy onions growing nicely. I have been harvesting them as small onions (small bulbs) and green onions (no bulbs). They are nice and fresh! There is a circle garden on the left which is where the bananas make their home. They are tucked safely away under ground.

Here we are looking at some elephant garlic (the big leaved plant) and regular garlic. The garlic is growing nicely. It will be harvested in the May/June timeframe, but needs the winter to grow and mature. This is but one patch of the garlic, there is more growing close by. I just really wanted to show you the difference between the elephant garlic and regular garlic. That is it for the vegetable garden.

But here we have some mesclun seedlings still growing. They are in a big pot on the south side of the house. There is also a pot of broccoli raab growing nearby. If these seedlings (a very big if) make it through the winter, they will begin growing in the spring and it will be as though I had purchased transplants to put in the garden. I don't think they'll hang on, but that is okay. Sigh.

We are still eating tomatoes from the garden. The paper bag trick is working great! I have only lost one tomato to rot. The rest are very good, but not as good as fresh picked tomatoes off the vine. Still it is nice to eat them from my garden.

The gourds are drying up nicely, though they are late this year. Usually about Christmas time or early January is when they are done. We'll do a post on them soon.

Now on to Skeeter's garden. I must say I really enjoyed seeing her vegetable garden and all the gardens at her beautiful home in Georgia. It was most fun!

Skeeter's Veggie Garden:

Here is the last of the tomatoes harvested in the past month from my Georgia Garden. I picked them the night before our first heavy frost when they were still green. As you can see, all but one have turned a bright red and are now ready to eat. I think we will have tomatoes with dinner tonight! The gourds continue to dry while hanging in a nice dry spot. I will talk more about them another time as they will have their own posting...
I have removed all the dead plants from the garden and have allowed the leaves and pine needle's from the trees above to put a nice warm coat on the garden.
Once the holiday activities settle down a bit, we have some plans for the garden.
But for now, we will let the leaves and pine needles do their job and keep the soil filled with natural minerals as they break down.

Be sure to tune in January 20, 2009 to see what Tina and I have going on with our VEGGIE GARDEN UPDATE, In the Garden...


  1. Ladies, you are ahead of the curve. Since I am in the business I try to read what the new trends in gardening will be in the coming years. Home vegetable gardening is at the top of everyone's list. I do realize that to many people in the country this is not a new "trend", it is just what is done.

  2. Oh dear I have so much still to do in my garden - I dont think it will actually get put to sleep!

  3. Les, I am glad to hear we are part of this wonderful trend. And I consider it a new trend too, country or not. It is SO rewarding growing your own veggies. Do you have a veggie garden? I don't remember seeing you post about one. You might be too full up with gardens though-gotta go borrow some land huh? I too have that problem. I am fighting it out with hubby for real estate, hence the odd shape of the veggie garden.

    PG, Keep it awake then-much more enjoyment in the winter:) Before you know it spring is here anyhow.

  4. Les, I wanted to tell you we are very honored you read this blog-especially with you being in the nursery business. Thanks! I learn an awful lot from your blog and am humbled by the great amount of plants you feature. Still hoping for a fatsia to do well here too:)

  5. Tina, how many gourds did you get this year? I've left mine on the vine and they're taking a long time to dry. I hope no desperate squirrel is going to experiment with them.
    I like Skeeter's wintercoat for her garden.

  6. Tina-You get to garden in February?
    Skeeter gets to after the holidays? Sigh. I wonder if I could grow anything under snow for about 5 or 6 months.

  7. Tina and Skeeter,

    Your gardens still look beautiful...the only thing they need is a blanket of snow to deck them up for the holidays! I can't wait to see your gourd projects and posts!


  8. You are both so fortunate to have your wonderful veggie gardens!

    Those gourds are real beauties. What will you make? Guess I'll have to wait for the Gourd Story!

    Oh, to grow fresh greens for salads. I may have to see about putting a container garden up on the back deck away from critters, but that's the north side of the house.


  9. Skeeter,

    Those tomatoes make me jealous! To have some fresh garden tomatoes at this time of the year would be really nice! everything is resting here. The cover crop is growing slowly, probably not enough sun lately and too much water.

  10. Good Morning All,
    Tina, Skeeter that is a most informative post you have.
    Gardening in the winter is so different than what I was used to yrs. earlier from my memories as a child. Now I'm able to garden in the winter months here in the very deep south. I just had my first ever of Swiss Chard. To me it has the consistency & almost taste of Spinach. I thought it very good & shall plant more. That's only one veggie I have. It sure is good.

  11. Good morning all!

    Sunita, I had to go count the gourds as I was not sure how many I got. I have 7 in the garage and 2 outside. One gourd already rotted, so I got a total of 10. Not very many considering I had about 5 vines. How many did you get? I do hope the squirrel leaves yours alone too. We are posting a first drying progress post on the 8th and 9th of January. Later will come the craft posts.

    Cinj, Sadly you will not be able to grow much of anything under snow. But, you can look at garden catalogs and kind of grow something in your visions for next year?

    Gail, Uh, no thanks on the snow. That is one reason I live in Tennessee! I had enough snow growing up in Maine. Ha!

    Cameron, All the veggies are fun. I have slowly switched more to ornamental but will never give these guys up. I usually use my gourds for garden decorations. I'll post a picture of the ones I did two years ago on the 8th too.

    Dave, They really did well this year. Good luck with your cover crop. I've never done this before but it should help with nitrogen fixing. I'll be interested to see how it does. I've been afraid to try it as then I have to weed it out;0.

  12. Ah Lola, The Swiss chard-I'd so love to try it. Frances always has some of the most beautiful chard. Maybe in the spring. You enjoy yours and that is great to grow it year round down there in sunny Florida.

  13. We do not get as much snow or cold here in Maine that we used to get but still can't grow anything in the winter. Snow is early this year. We have had a couple of dustings and yesterday we got 3 or 4 inches. Tomorrow a northeaster coming. I like it for Christmas but then I am ready for spring but it never comes quick enough. We have has so many Christmases without snow of late years but I guess it will be a white ones for sure this year. The storm yesterday brought in the cold and that is what I don't like.

  14. Oh Tina, I am realizing more and more that I'm not really a true gardener! All I grow is tomatoes in a pot on my deck! Your garden is amazing and I don't know how you keep up with it all! Bananas? Did I read that right? How do you grow so many things there? Nice post;) Jan

  15. Good morning (or almost noon for me) everyone! I have been enjoying the tomatoes for a long time and will be sure to plant more Roma's next year as they did well for us. We have one tomato to go then they are all history. Well, I did blanch and freeze some so soup, spaghetti sauce or chili will be in the near future.

    I would like to see some snow for Christmas day but then nothing but warm and blue skies from there. I am a Southern Gal and like my warmth :-) Snow is great at Christmas though. Really puts one in the mood for fireplaces, hot chocolate and snuggling with a lap cat...

  16. Skeeter, the no'reaster is bringing 1 foot of snow tommorrow, gosh! Like my mom said it is early. I have about 6 inches so far with thick ice all over eveyones drive, ice under the snow that is.
    I'm looking forward to veggies for the summer, I've more or less decides where the garden is going, just have to battle the squirrels.

  17. Your garden updates are always so interesting. Onions and elephant garlic, wow!Skeeter's gourds are the cutest, hanging there drying.
    That yellow gate(?) with the two birds is very pretty.

  18. Tina your garlic is looking really good & thanks for the link to those clever a-frames of yours. I showed hubby and he was impressed too. I love the metal gate into this area too, very shabby chic! ;)

    Skeeter it looks like you did a great job tucking the veggie garden in for the winter. :) I am jealous of the wonderful tomatoes you still were able to harvest before your last frost. My tomatoes did not do well this year. :)

  19. love the gourds, what will you do with them?
    i am going to try to grow them next year.
    that's how my mom decribes winter allowing things a much needed rest.

  20. Tina ~ I love seeing your garlic and onions growing. And to think you still are eating homegrown tomatoes. Yum!

    Skeeter ~ Your gourds look like they are drying nicely. I can't wait to see what plans you have for your veggie garden.

  21. Mom, I sure hope Christine makes it up there soon! Stay warm.

    Jan, Tomatoes on the deck are gardening. Yes, do check the bananas. They should grow fine in your zone. There is a link on the archives. Thanks and isn't gardening fun?

    Skeeter, You have had SO much fun with that veggie garden this year. I am so glad. Got your card yesterday. It was ever so sweet. And thanks again!

    Dawn, Gee if only you guys could give it away!

    Hi Kanak, I lucked out and purchased three of these metal gates at the flea market for the sole purpose of putting them in the veggie garden. The yellow is my touch. One of my favorite colors. Glad you like them and Skeeter's gourds do look too cute hanging there.

    Racquel, That is me, shabby chic (rhymes with cheap-Ha) The gates were a good buy at the flea market. We have one of the best flea markets in the country in Nashville. The greatest for stuff for the garden and home. Glad you like those A-Frames. I am thinking hubby should get busy making you a few for your veggie garden next year:)\

    Marmee, You will love growing the gourds. They are the funnest. I wish I had gotten more but my veggie garden has a bit of shade. I will post on the gourds soon. Your mother is a wise one. Your little one in the nutcracker outfit looks JUST like you. A very portrait worthy picture. Just wanted to tell you.

    Cindy, I am thinking you may have some green under your snow somewhere with all your walking onions and garlic. I am still in garden envy for all that room and nice looking soil. Stay warm.

  22. Marmee, I hope to make bird houses out of the larger ones. Maybe some type of person like maybe a snowman with the pear shaped one. Not sure about the others. Only time will tell.... Stay tuned...

  23. There's something very peaceful about a sleeping garden, especially one still yielding green onions.~~Dee

  24. Dear Tina,
    My gardens are sleeping too. I cannot imagine not growing veggies and herbs. Must have them!
    Hope you and yours have a Happy Christmas.
    Looking forward to 2009 and getting to know you and your gardens better.

  25. Another Hot one in GA today folks. We have broken 3 record high temps this week... I am wearing a tee shirt while wraping Christmas gifts and sweating! Is it December? I need to run get some shorts on now because I am about to melt like Frosty!!!

  26. Hi Tina --this area is great for gardening. I tried growing stuff back home in PA when I grew up --but it was always getting cold so fast and the winters so long. My growing season was not nearly as nice as the one in TN. You sure learn to appreciate these things. A busy day here --in anticipation of Santa we gave it another shot at more cookies for my cookie monsters, hahaha. I have to hide them --they eat them almost as fast as I bake them. Tonight is supposed to bring in some very cold air --I won't mind --it is winter, right?
    Skeeter, you enjoy those shorts and warm weather --some cold air will sneak over soon:0)
    I know the boat post was the other day but --it's true about the happiest day being when you get it, hahaha. Hubby had his out today on the river with Boy 2 --they brought me back some mistletoe :)
    Hi Lola --have a wonderful Christmas! Hi Jean --enjoy your white Christmas --and when you feel like your ready for spring --you come on down here to see us:0) I know we rarely get snow down here so I'm sure it would feel like spring compared to those noreasters. My relatives in PA are being hit pretty hard with snow and bad weather.
    Hi Nina --hope your all set for the holidays --have a great one! I better get a move on --nighty night y'all!

  27. The tomatoes look terrific! My husband says his Dad always had tomatoes until frost but so far he hasn't been able to.

  28. Thanks guys! Dot, tell your husband to maybe add a bit of fertilizer in mid summer and keep well watered, they should last then though it is so hot down there that sometimes they don't.

    Dee, Sleeping work:)

    Q-Sherry, Thanks and I look forward to getting to know you better in 2009 as well. You must be a beautiful person to love the birds and nature so much. Namaste (I actually Googled Namaste and really like the term.

    Anonymous, Too cool on the mistletoe. Racquel posted about it this morning and they also featured it on the Volunteer Gardener this morning. It was funny, the barefoot gardener was throwing rocks at the tree to try to get it down. Doesn't work of course. Mr. Fix-it says to shoot it down with a shotgun-your hubby should like that idea! Stay warm.

    Skeeter, The brrrr cold is coming your way.

  29. Tina, I have heard you shoot it down with a bow and arrow so the kiddos would love that!

  30. Oops, I think I missed this one when I was out of town. Tina, your garden is full of promise with that garlic and onions still showing. I have nothing to show, the garlic is just barely showing, I must have planted it deeper that I should have. I am hoping to have something to post next month though. And Skeeter, red lovely tomatoes, oh the dream of summer veggies fresh from the garden will keep us going until that times returns.

  31. Look at those yummy tomatoes! My mouth is watering, Skeeter!

    I almost forgot about Veggie Day; I didn't expect you have to anything growing, Tina, but that mesclun must be very hardy.
    My vegetable garden has been sleeping for some time:)

  32. What good looking gardens and produce!


  33. Even better Skeeter-can see it now-hope all are wearing helmets and NOT in the line of fire!

    Frances, We ate a homegrown tomato salad today and except for the fact the tomatoes were cold since they were in the garage, I'd swear I JUST picked them. I bet Skeeter's are just as good. And never worry my friend. If you or anyone else is out of town or busy don't worry a bit if you miss posts. Your garlic will be fine. Looking forward to seeing the chard.

    Rose, So far here I think the winter has been mild, though they say this past November was the 8th coldest on record-it doesn't feel that way. I think with this frigid air we have now the mesclun and raab may say bye to me. I really should cover them. Next month there won't be anything growing for sure. Everytime I hear about the snow up in northern Illinois I think of all my blogging friends up there and do hope you stay warm and don't have to drive. That is the scariest part for me with snow.

    Sue, Thanks! It is coming along for us both and we so enjoy it all.