December garden update (for real)

Normally in December my garden, any garden around Western New York, would be covered in snow.  All of the foliage would be completely dead from a frost that occurred weeks before.  Here in Western New York if you make it past Halloween with a plant or two spared from frost, you are pretty lucky.  We are less than a fortnight from Christmas and I have not only lush foliage, but blooms, In the December garden. 

Swiss chard

The other day we experienced record breaking 71 degree weather.  Normally around this time a day in the fifties is a welcomed reprieve from the cold.  Temperatures in the 60s are unheard of – 71 degrees – quite incredible.  We have more seasonable weather coming and even expect our first, yes first, snow of the season this weekend.

Let’s just take a look around the garden though, shall we?

In the front yard the vinca (that I moved back in May) has a lovely, purple bloom, in the December garden, I might add.

Vinca blooming December

Not too far away a lone primrose has opened a bloom, also in the December garden.  This was an Easter plant bought for decoration that I stuck in the garden on a whim.

primrose bloom December

Remember when I created a mowing strip around the herb garden?  Quite a few of the herbs are looking good.  I was not shocked by the sage, it is a pretty hearty herb.

Sage in December Northeastern garden

The rosemary, mint, oregano and thyme are all looking good.  I harvested sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme on Thanksgiving for our meal and an impromptu arrangement.  I could go out and harvest even more in the December garden, no less!

Mint still alive in December garden Oregano in late fall

I even have a nice little bunch of Swiss chard that I will be clipping to add to salad.

Swiss chard

Ultimately it is not going to be good for the garden and the plant life, especially the fruit bearing trees.  They need to have their dormant period, as explained here.  I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I am glad that it is going to get colder.  I can look forward to abbreviated winter, I hope.

Veggie garden update

Boy was Memorial Day weekend busy and productive!  I have a huge veggie garden update.

It took a bit of work over each of the three days, but we tilled and planted the veggie garden.

tilling_lime_garden

Actually, it was a really slow process, but then our neighbor offered to run his tractor tiller through it, and it was done in half an hour.  Yay!  Thanks for good neighbors!

tilling-tractorWe got down the black plastic, cut holes and started planting seedlings of peppers, tomatoes, okra, basil, parsley, tomatillos and ground cherries.  I made sure to water them right away, they were thirsty.  The next day we finished the seedlings and added seeds for sow direct crops like cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, bunching onions and 7 rows of green beans.  Then I added some marigold and sunflower seeds around the edges to pretty things up.  I placed the sunflowers on the north side so that they don’t shade the garden and marigolds near the tomatoes for a companion planting and pest deterrent.  Then we watered everything in really well again.

vegetable garden planted

I got about two thirds of my flower beds mulched.  Here is a new gooseberry that I was able to transplant from that same helpful neighbors brush line.  It was ill fated otherwise and I was in the process of rooting some additional plants fro the three gooseberries that I already had.  These are larger than my rooted plants, so I will have better production a little sooner now.

DSCN1781

I transplanted all of this vinca to an enclosed bed in the front yard.  It hadn’t filled in the original space and was being choked out by mulch.  So I had to find a new home for it or buy more to fill in this area.  Transplanting the vinca to another bed was easier.

transplanting vincaIt will fill this small flower bed and won’t need to be mulched.  Ground cover and mulch don’t mix, people, they just don’t.

vinca transplants

It is all looking much better.  Well, it was, but then I had to disturb some of the mulch to transplant some spring bulbs.

not so freshly mulched

Check out these deck rail planters.  They are bursting with lettuce an greens.  I have been making a huge salad every night for dinner.  So yummy!

time for salad