Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Veggies

The winter vegetable garden is humming along...seeming to enjoy the chilly weather. While the broccoli planted in late September is finishing up...

 the seedlings planted in late November are growing nicely. Next winter I will make a note to plant the second round of broccoli a little earlier...in late October or early November to keep the harvest closer together. Last week we planted a few more Cherry Belle radish seeds to keep them going.

One single, solitary tomato bush planted in a container is now setting fruit after having spent a big part of December in the garage instead of the garden. It won't be long before we can enjoy these Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes on our salad.

New tomato seeds have been planted in anticipation of planting in late February.

Here's a good pic of the 1st round of broccoli and the most recently planted in front of it. Leaf lettuce is filling up the salad bowl, while the recently planted romaine is gaining a foothold in the garden.
Don't you just love the varying colors of vegetables? The broccoli is such a pretty color blue and the chartreuse-colored lettuce...just as pretty as any landscape plants in my opinion.

The green onions, leeks and carrots are thriving. More Petite Sweet carrot seeds were put into the ground last week, and I need to pull some leeks and cook up a batch of potato and leek soup.

Growing vegetables in winter seems so much easier to me than any other time. There's less bugs...less disease...and the plants just laugh at frost and freezing temps.

And, in addition...there's a large variety of veggies to choose from...certainly more than I planted. We planted our favorites: broccoli, carrots, collards, radishes, snow peas, lettuce, green onions, spinach, tomatoes in a container, dill, parsley, onion chives, thyme and potatoes.

And, speaking of potatoes...A bag of red, purple and yellow small potatoes...purchased from the supermarket...will be planted on February 14th. Our first crop last year was super easy...and so yummy that we're gonna do it again this year.

As the garden continues to produce...we are enjoying plates of crisp salad straight from the garden, and bowls of hearty soups to warm us up on a cold night.


Floridagirl said...

Your veggies do look as lovely as ornamentals. So many colorful hues and ruffly textures. I agree....winter is the best time for veggies here.

FlowerLady said...

Wow Susan, I am really impressed with your lovely vegetables. Did you have to do a lot of soil amendment?

Happy eating from your gardens.


ChrisC said...

This was our best year with brocolli.I wish we had planted more.Your leeks look gorgeous.Mine aren't doing so well.I think it's all the rumblings in the yard?I intend to try the potato thing this year.Do you think you could repost the original post?As a refresher?

Char's Gardening said...

Your veggies look great. Are Cherry Belle radishes sweet? I am looking for a variety that is not too hot. I've tried several with no luck.

sanddune said...

Your Winter veggies look great. One day the sandpit might produce such treasures.

Ami said...

Susan: Your veggie garden looks so beautiful! I am sure you will enjoy the harvesting time. I tried some tomatos in the container too, and I was very excited to see the first tomato fruit just this week!

daisy said...

Everything looks absolutely wonderful. I made a big batch of potato soup yesterday, wish I would've had some of your leeks to go in there!

NanaK said...

Those veggies look lovely and delicious at the same time. I'm getting hungry for some soup! Good for you on getting those seeds started. I'm way behind on that.

Meems said...

Ahhh... the winter veggie garden. SOOOO much easier than the summer garden. Except for these freezes. Although the cool season veggies don't mind it at all. It is the warm season veggies I'm trying to grow now that don't like it. Your veggies look great. Just pulled some Cherry Belles today. Next winter I'm going to have to put tomatoes in containers to protect them. I've been covering but they still suffer.

The spring garden is right around the corner too. wow.

Susan said...

Hey FloridaGirl...I can see why people plant them among the regular plants. They are very interesting.

FlowerLady...My soil is of average quality, although we do have lots of phosphate in our soil here. Every year when planting, I add a fair amount of compost to enrich the soil.

Chris...Glad to hear you're having a successful gardening season. I highly recommend planting potatoes. I incluced a link to that old post...just click on "our first crop last year" and it'll take you right there. Good luck!

Char...The Cherry Belle's are mild and very tasty...pretty, too.

Sanddune...Your sandpit might need a little compost to produce happy veggies. :-)

Ami...Glad to hear you're gonna have some homegrown tomatoes soon. You just can't beat 'em.

Daisy...I love creamy, yummy potato soup, especially on a cold day.

Susan said...

Hi Kay...How are your tomatoes in containers doing? You must be getting tomatoes by now, too.

Hi Meems...I tried covering a tomato last winter with a nice heavy blanket and the poor thing was completed limp the next day. I lost one in the ground in December, but from now on I'm going to put at least one in a container. You're right about the spring garden being around the corner. Only a little more than 6 weeks (hopefully) of winter left.

Rainforest Gardener said...

I'm just getting the hang of winter veggies myself, and the mustard/collard greens seem pretty easy so far. :) I wish I amended the soil more, but lesson learned.

Rusty in Miami said...

Your winter veggies look a lot better than my. Everything I planted in early December is not doing so well with all the cold weather

Susan said...

Hi Steve...soil definitely does make a difference. It took me awhile to get the hang of winter veggies, but these cold winters have helped with the learning curve.

Hi Rusty...Sorry to hear about your veggies. If I remember correctly, this is your tomato time. These unexpected cold snaps in S. Florida are wreaking havoc with your garden.

Dani said...

I gotta get started on my tomato seeds too!

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