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2016, 2017 Winter Gardens

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Thread for all your gardening trials & success.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

latest harvest
I am fermenting the peppers and the eggplants. Trying this recipe for the first time.
While I was away my self watering system must have stopped. The battery was blinking. I don't think I had much damages ... just slow germination for my lettuce and carrots

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

My first broccoli head is ready to be harvest. Everything else is growing good.

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Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

first frost advisory of the year predicted for us (we should have had this back in october), yes, come on in and sweeten up my fall crops and make 'em taste good, lol!

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

I had a watermelon that volunteered by the picnic table. I picked it about October 12th and it was quite good.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

got all my kale and turnips harvested up. 3 good heaping gallon bags full of those awesome greens! Not a bad little collection of turnips either. I need to find a variety of turnip that bulbs up to a good size faster than purple top white globe does.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

it would help if i posted the photos lol

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

FINALLY got some seeds in! Planted seven flats of collards, and transplanted some herbs to planters.

Next up: BEETS!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Worked like a dog over the Thanksgiving holiday. Last Friday, I threw out seeds everywhere I prepped, and everything was up by Wednesday morning this week:
Gigante Spinach
Buttercrunch lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Detroit Dark Red beets
Dinosaur Kale
Silver Queen Garlic
Georgia Collards

And, the peppers have one last picking, then, they're outta here. Been dehydrating and grinding Tabasco peppers for the last 4 months. I have about a 5-year supply of pepper spice, LOL!

And, I made enough homemade compost this year to top all the beds with 3-4" of sifted compost. Best part is, now that I look back on what I considered to be "late for me," I find that my garden is "right on time!!" Cuz, it's been so hot for so long, anything I would've planted in August would have just suffered and languished in our heat.

As it is, I got spinach to germinate in 3 days, cause the soil was cool enough!

All is well in my garden world!

Here's a progress report!
#1 Tabasco Peppers
#2 1.125 lbs. of Tabascos picked Thanksgiving morning - the plants are still loaded!
#3 Pepper powder!
#4 RB #5 with 4-5" of homemade compost. Seeded immediately after on Friday, 11/25/16 with two lettuces & beets; and, dinosaur kale tranplants. Seeds up by 11/30/16
#5 The lone kale plant from last season, that just won't quit. The leaves are amazing!

Hugs, yall!

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I still have almost a full 96-gallon bin of homemade compost left!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have indoor pepper plants that are setting pods. Bluebonnet seedlings are already coming up it surprises me bc at the time it had only froze once.

GG I agree the seeds germinate much better when the temps are right.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sorry some pics turned sideways....
Pic #1 Raised Bed #5 the day after Thanksgiving, when I shored up the side that was eroding under the unlevel ground, and prepped it with 4" of my homemade compost.

Pic #2 Raised Bed #5 five days after seeding Romaine Lettuce, DDR Beets, Buttercrunch Lettuce, and transplanted some flat-leaf Kale (you can see one in the middle of the lettuce seeds) The Romaine lettuce is just now peeping through, on the far end. I thought the seeds were bad, but, they were just taking their time.

Pic #3 Gigante Spinach in five (5) patented Earthboxes setting side-x-side. Looking in from one end.

Pic #4 Collard green seedlings I transplanted into RB #2. Pulled trenches, laid them down, and covered the roots. Don't know what possessed me to start seeds in SEVEN flats, instead of just throwing them out there in the first place. Still, they're all standing up and liking the new location. And, I'll have seedlings enough to fill empty spaces from now until next March, LOL!

This message was edited Dec 8, 2016 10:24 AM

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Looking good! Hard freeze tonight but we picked tomatoes, beans and peppers a few days ago. I'm looking forward to moving on to non-garden projects for a couple of months before seed starting.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Up here, I can maybe do greens into winter, I have had some great years with mustard greens in a warm southfacing bed .We are due for dip in the teens later this week and I am not sure how the mustard and lettuce will like that.
One year I used row cover but the voles took that as an invite to a cozy meal.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Up here, I can maybe do greens into winter, I have had some great years with mustard greens in a warm southfacing bed .We are due for dip in the teens later this week and I am not sure how the mustard and lettuce will like that.
One year I used row cover but the voles took that as an invite to a cozy meal.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Spending these cold days planning 2017 garden & ordering seeds. Always something new to try.
Trying cucumber, Sweet Slice. Cabbage, Harvest Mist supposed to get 9 1/2 to 10 lbs.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Always. Harvest mist looks good. Have grown O S Cross to 15 lbs. Just finished the last planting of 2016. Onions DP Sweet and Pink Diamond. November planted Willet Wonder peas are about an inch tall. Next planting target February 1. Fall harvet reaching full swing. broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, collards, mustard, turnips. Last freeze about finished the radishes except for the winter varieties. Rutabaga and carrots should be ready around the first of 2017.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm taking a winter garden break while trying to track down a few unusual seeds. It's getting difficult to impossible to find southern peas that were commonly available from seed and feed stores. Wish I had room to grow more varieties. Whippoorwill and zipper have become unavailable locally so I've been saving seed for a few years. I'd like to find seed for Sea Island red peas and Sapelo red peas. These Gullah red peas were supposedly the originals used in Hoppin' John, not blackeyed peas. Anson Mills is carrying Sea Island peas, mostly for the high end southern restaurant chef but they have a pretty big, expensive minimum order for a small garden. Maybe a member of Local Harvest has them.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

looks like you can do 14 oz of them at Anson Mills

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Minimum order is 4 14 oz. units or one 10 lb. unit and I didn't even check the shipping cost. They ship them frozen. I'm estimating more than $30 for their seed. Everything research-wise points to them pretty much having proprietary control on the seed. There are a few small farmers east of me who might have some seed. Still checking.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Hello? Just renewed my membership but seems that I should have checked first, to see if anyone is still here!

I drop in and out of gardening, as I get alternatively enthused or occasionally discouraged. Right now I have just a few things growing -- spinach, Brussels sprouts (first time!), and kale, plus a couple sturdy oregano plants that have hung around. Mostly I have empty garden beds and packs of seeds. lol. I hope to reunite with a few of the old hands and get back into the swing of things.


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Some of us old timers are still around.
We just started planting seeds in our basement seed starting room. So far Candy Onion, Geraniums, Dahlia, & Kohlrabi.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'm still lurking...about to build two new 4x8' raised beds, then start throwing seeds at every available space I have. After those two, I'll be up to 8 raised beds.

My goal is to have all the seeds sown and everything in by the 1st week of March.

I have SIBERIAN Kale growing inside under lights. They're alternately taking turns "swooning," so, I guess I should've paid attention to that SIBERIAN thing...

I have just a few other seedlings to be potted up, including 8 tomatillo plants. First time for tomatillos.

Had a HUGE tree cut down, so, there's much more light in the yard. Easing back into tomato production to see if it was the light or my soil.

I already have collards, beets, spinach, carrots and curly kale growing outdoors.

There are Tabasco Pepper seedlings, and two Cher Purple and two Arkansas Traveler tomato seedlings hardening off outside. I've decided to only start fall/wtr. seedlings in the house from now on, so I bit the bullet and bought the tomato and pepper seedlings. Had a bumper crop of Tabasco peppers last season, so, went to the same supplier for the seedlings.

Plans for the #2017Spring/Summer garden include: cukes, zukes, Purple Hull peas, more carrots, green beans, yard long beans, eggplants, & watermelons & cantaloupes in a "pillow" garden down my side yard. I recently covered the whole side yard with 4 yards of wood chips, so, the vining veggies can have the 30' run. Any longer than that, and they'll get whacked off by the lawnmower, LOL!

#1 Side Yard
#2 Collards
#3 Spinach in Earthbox

This message was edited Feb 6, 2017 3:15 PM

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Taking a hiatus until seed starting time in late February or early March. Then time for garden prep and broadcast sowing greens. The break allows me time to play with orchids in the greenhouse. I've slowed down on multi-season gardening. Once we are not at Maypop the wildlife moves in on the salad bar.

Welcome back.

johnson city, TN(Zone 7a)

we still have about a foot of snow on the field- so- not much is going on here... but, I am sure enjoying my pickled vegetables from November - it is basically enhanced sauerkraut ...

This message was edited Feb 6, 2017 9:27 PM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Winter has been dry and very mild in the Mid Atlantic, with just occasional short cold blasts and temps below freezing. Kale (transplants from fall) is showing faster growth, lettuce survived, mustard got hit hard but some survived.

gymgirl, that wood chipped area is going to be great! And I hope you really like tomatillos, or have lots of friends who do.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Or can them! Tomatillo salsa in the pantry here.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'm praying to get a tutorial from Laurel on canning the tomatillos. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tomatillo salsa, so, cans in the pantry is right up my alley!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Oh, super! You're still here! I hadn't thought about the fact that it's still pretty off-season for a lot of folks. It is going to get to 89F today here -- insane. I can't even figure out what season that IS, since according to the guides, our last average freeze date is mid-march. Not sure how I expect plants to cope with that kind of insanity, but I will persist.

I'm glad to see a few names I recognize (CountryGardens, gymgirl Linda, and maypopLaurel, at least, and perhaps sallyg too?) and look forward to getting to know others as well.

Linda, I'm surprised you were able to locate store-bought tomato seedlings already. I usually have pretty good luck at HEB with getting locally grown stuff, but their shelves are still bare here. Might need to take a trip to a proper nursery (and call first, lol).

And, pillow garden? Is that name because of the bed of wood chips? I have never heard that term before. Have you had good luck growing cantaloupe and watermelon? I find them a challenge to grow so look forward to learning from those who are better at it.

Those pickled vegetables sound great, Michael!

I'm focused on amending garden beds right now. My seeds just arrived in the mail a few days ago -- will pop back later with my list of seed varieties.

Great to see you all, and thanks for posting!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

"Pillow Garden"

Watermelons are heavy feeders, hence, using a bag of compost.

Since my side yard is covered with the wood chips, I'll just put a couple bags at the far end, and let the vines run. They should not be able to anchor themselves into the wood chips, so, the nutrients won't get plugged up with new sets of roots along the vine.

Here's another perspective.

Last one.

This is a great way to get kids started in gardening, and good for those not ready to commit to digging up their yards to start a garden.


This message was edited Feb 7, 2017 4:13 PM

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

All that is going right now. English peas and onions. Carrots are half harvested. should hold to the end of month. Few collards that have not bolted yet, but most of the brassicas are in full bloom. The bees are having a field day.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gymgirl, that was news to me. Do they poke any drainage holes in the bottom of the bag? I think you'd have to. maybe the first guy just didn't mention it.

Lise, I'm an old dg'er, but didn't post a lot with Veggie Forums. Moving the garden to a sunnier spot last year gave me a sunnier outlook on vegetable gardening for this year.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Planted 128 tomato seeds today. They will go into the early hoop house to hopefully have ripe tomatoes in early June.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm still here. Not doing much garden wise. We were freezing this weekend and 86 today. We get late unexpected freezes in my microclimate so it might be a while.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Planted some beets yesterday . A freeze tomorrow and maybe the next day , Then hopefully the teen temperatures are done
Cabbages and a few to start next week ,

Beautiful vegetables and fruits all ,

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

So tickled to "see" all of you. 1lisac, I'm pretty close to you. Thanks for the reminder about freezes yet to come (even while we're sweating at 89 today). Gardeners must be eternal optimists -- or nuts. lol

Linda, I watched those videos. Thank you. Sally, I had the drainage question too, because you're right, the first video didn't mention it, but the 2nd and 3rd ones did. The 2nd one showed poking holes in the bag before you flip it and cut the top. She added that you need to check the soil periodically, to make sure you've poked enough holes. Her bag was potting soil, by the way, rather than compost. She was planting herbs (basil -- 6 plants per bag)

The 3rd one had 15 bags set up of Miracle Gro potting mix, and he was growing a variety of things. He seemed to think that the roots would travel out the drainage holes and break through the soil, and the bag would kill any grass underneath it, so after the first year, you can dump the soil right where it is, if you want, and have a nice bed. Theoretically, anyway.

It's a neat idea. Keep us posted on how it goes, Linda. I am tempted to give it a try along my back fence, where weeds run rampant and my energy gives out trying to get rid of them to clear a space. Maybe I'll throw 4 or 6 bags on top!

I promised to report what seeds I bought this year:
bean - Bountiful Bush Bean
cucumber - Marketmore
tomato - Red House Free Standing
tomato - Paul Robeson
tomato - Red Cherry
broccoli - Early Green
dill - Dukat
parsley - Krausa F1
basil - Sweet Italian Large Leaf
zucchini - Natura F1
yellow squash - Lioness F1
spinach - Charger F1
lettuce - Redina
pumpkin - Howden
muskmelon - Oro Rico F1

Yesterday I bought 2 bags of an organic humus/manure mix to sprinkle around a bit, and 4 bags of organic garden soil to fill up my boxes. I've been making compost in bins, and have also been pulling back the leaf mulch that covers the rest of my yard and scraping up the layer of compost that has developed underneath, but the bin stuff isn't ready, and the leaf compost is wonderful but there isn't enough. I will likely try to lighten the garden soil with some screened wood chips and a couple bags of perlite that I have on hand. Any other suggestions to help get the raised garden beds ready is appreciated.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Which brand of organic garden soil did you buy in a bag? I'm building two new raised beds, 4x8', and need to put a bottom layer of soil in there. Just gonna rock the garden fork back and forth to break up the ground, then toss in the garden soil, a layer of my finished compost, a thick layer of shredded leaves, and a thick layer of wood chips.

Just trying to get the root zone thick enough. The stuff on top can break down over time, and I'll continue layering leaves and wood chips in the beds, until I end up with a nice hummus -- over time...

Glad so many of you are chiming in! I thought this website had just about died...

Pic #1 BEFORE. The two RBs will go next to the existing ones you see. The big patch in the middle is where the huge trash tree used to be. In the far background are all the bags of wood chips and leaves to fill the new raised beds, and mulch. There are more bags of wood chips in the side yard. LOTS to do, still, including installing my two drip irrigation systems.

I'll be sure to post an AFTER pic.

Nice list LiseP. And, thanks for pointing out all those details in the videos! Very helpful.

Hugs! ^^_^^

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

It is about a week early for these 1 is the beets I will uncover them this coming weekend , 17 and 19 degrees tonight and tomorrow , After that it warms up again no below 20 degree temperatures , Covers are more for critter protection
2 photo is some stalks I chopped into mulch while it was 60 degrees yesterday
3 are some onions outside that need pressed back into the ground
Slow to start , only it is February and snowing today

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San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Linda, this is what I bought:

I just cut open a bag and it looks good. It needs some "lightening" because it's a little heavy, but it has lots of nice woody shreds in it and a nice feel.

The humus/manure mixture I bought is

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Lise, don't go by my temps for your area. Lol For some reason my area is always coolder then even DT Liberty Hill. The lower part of my property will freeze when the upper part doesn't. SA is a lot more humid too.

Your seed choices look great!

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