Winter Garden: Above and Below

winter seed packetsI’m branching out this year.  Now that we have raised planting beds and a gravel and stone walkway, winter gardening holds more appeal.  Year one I planted fava beans as a cover crop, digging the plants back into the soil to add nitrogen.  Year two I planted broccoli.  I bought seeds, but waited too long to plant them, so I planted six starter plants instead.  Two survived and produced a few yummy florets, but it bolted early and that was that.

I’m hoping the old saw “three’s a charm” is true, and that year three will be a roaring success.  Here’s what I’m planting.

Above-ground vegetables include:

Lettuce Leaf Red Velvet

Botanical Interests ® Lactuca sativa.  The seed packet promises “wine-red leaves that are sweet and tender and will make any salad memorable.”  Red-leaf lettuce is delicious and brightens up a salad.  It will be such fun to grow my own.

Early Green Broccoli

The Seeds of Change® tag line is “goodness from the ground up.”  I love that! We all enjoy broccoli, which is to say, three of us really like it and one of us reluctantly agrees it’s not half bad. Let’s hope we have a better year.

Below-ground vegetables include:

Radish Crimson Giant

My eyesight has officially failed me. I thought I was buying beets. These “crimson beauties” were my sister’s favorite growing up. Now my oldest son is a big fan.  Here’s hoping garden beets taste just as sweet as the ones that come in a can!  Here’s hoping, too that I can still find a pack in the garden center.  Apparently we’re also growing radishes!  Now that is embarrassing.

Chives Common

I prefer the Latin name Allium schoenoprasum.  I’m not sure I can pronounce it but it sounds far less demeaning than the moniker “common.”  The Botanical Interests seed packet says “heirloom, with beautiful edible flowers and delicate onion flavored foliage.”  It also says “very easy to grow.”  Count me in!

I’m off to get my nails dirty.  If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, are you planting a winter garden?  Garden tips appreciated.


17 thoughts on “Winter Garden: Above and Below

  1. Good luck with your winter garden. Radishes don’t seem to grow well in my soil, but perhaps next year I might try some winter ones.
    No tips to help you with your winter garden except to invest in some decent fleece, if you don’t have that already.


  2. My winter garden is in the ground, a couple of weeks later than I planned. Coming up wonderfully: lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and . . . COLLARDS! “Collards is jes no damn good les they been kissed twice by frost to bring the sweetness up the leaves.” So said my great grandmother, Mama Keel. Another variety of lettuce is a no-show, and what the garlic is doing down in the dark, I have no idea. Summer potatoes are still in the ground. High hopes for a small asparagus harvest come spring. In the big plot I decided to go for flowers on a what-the-hell whim. Poppies, Coneflower, Glorioso Daisies, and Coreopsis. Daffodils, naturally in odd places. I try to forget where I plant them so I’ll be surprised.


  3. Eeek! I’ve not even thought about this although my beds are starting to be cleared. I’m so behind on things but it’s only my first year with the garden so I won’t give myself too much of a hard time.
    The seed packets look really pretty Alys 🙂


    • Thank you, PJ. There is a bit of overlap in all gardens between the end of one season and the start of another. It’s a dilemma. People with lots of space sometimes rotate crops. My little boxes have to work very hard so for me it isn’t an option. You on the other hand….be still my heart!


    • Good for you, Marlene! If stored properly, seeds can last for years. They aren’t always viable as they get older, but I imagine one season is good. I’ve noticed most seed packets have a use by date, generally one season out.


  4. Good Morning…wiping the sleep out of my eyes and came back to finish my thoughts. Thanks ‘a bunch of radishes’ for linking back to Boomdeeadda! I thought I was going to link to YOUR ‘new friend’. hehe. Well this is your other friend telling her favorite friend, “you rock”. That’s sooo funny though, radishes instead of beets. You just have to laugh, otherwise the whole aging thing becomes too worrisome. Me, I’d be trying to remember WHERE I planted the beets and IF I planted beets… memory is very unreliable. I found saying things like “I am unplugging the iron” sometimes helps. So I don’t have to maddly leave the market to come back home to check. That’s where it’d be handy to live next to your lovely garden, I’d just ring you up from the market “Alys, can you check if I left the iron on AGAIN?” Then I’d bring Coffee and pastries back from the market and we’d sit and laugh about it in your garden (near your perfectly planted row of beets). 🙂 hugs!


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