The Winter Garden
This is by far the most intensive gardening effort I have ever made. Trying to do it right this season finally (now that I no longer have tiny clinging babies to deal with) and actually sustain us through the winter from the garden. Cause hey...in California, we can do that!
I just tore out some annoying large woody bushes in my garden plot (and one 8 foot mystery tree with 3-4 inch long deadly thorns that was supposedly Meyer lemon, but grew into something else) that were taking up a big chunk of room right in the sun, so now I'm preparing the ground, digging it up, mixing in iron and blood meal and fish emulsion and compost. Large amounts of manual labor, but once it's done, it's done until next year.
OK, here's my list of seeds that I started last night with the kids...
* Copenhagen Market Cabbage
* Early Dividend Hybrid Broccoli
* Long Harvest Broccoli
* Kohlrabi - Crispy Colors Duo
* Snowball Cauliflower
* Ruby Queen beets
* Purple Top White Globe Turnips
* Kind Midas Long Sweet Carrots
* Baby Leaf Spinach - Catalina
* Lacinato Kale
* Oriental Giant Japanese Spinach
* Gala Mache Salad
* Endive/ Escarole/ Radicchio Mix
* Amsterdam Seasoning Celery (no stalks, just flavorful leaves)
* Slow-bolt Cilantro
If you are thinking of starting a garden in pots, or on a small-scale plot, I would personally start with a salad mix of some sort and Bright Lights Swiss Chard. Maybe throw in some carrots, for a planter garden.
My Swiss Chard from last year re-seeded itself and grew profusely in my garden, in the shade, with no/little additional water, ALL WINTER LONG. Then, when it got hot in later spring, it started to go downhill again (it likes cool to cold weather, like almost all of the above crops). It bolted, re-seeded, I trimmed it back to the ground, and now it has resprouted with vigor in the cooler weather.
Plus, Swiss Chard is DELICIOUS. Easy and delicious and grows profusely. A big winner in the beginning garden.
Broccoli is really fun to grow, watching the flower heads form. I planted it late this spring and it was too hot for it. Right now is a good time to plant, nice and cool.
I'm definitely no expert, I just try to improve and expand on what I did last time around, so over the years I'm getting there, but it certainly hasn't happened all at once! Hopefully I'll be a wise gardener by the time I'm a middle-aged lady and have time to putter around out there.
There is nothing better than going out to the garden to gather food for your meal, and not having to go to the store. So convenient! Also, storing food in the ground or on the plant, instead of in the fridge. EASY.