Garden in December, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

December 1, 2015

Beginning of NovemberNieto Photography 2015Beginning of DecemberDSC_1018-EditAt first glance, the differences are in the leaves. The blueberry bushes are a lovely red while the peach tree and some of our shade bushes have lost most of their leaves.

Let’s take a walk in the garden and see what is growing! First, here are some transplants that never got planted. They are all hardy. I may eat the tender leaves in salads throughout the winter or maybe even attempt to transplant them as I harvest throughout the winter, as room becomes available under the tunnels. We’ll see. πŸ™‚DSC_1003 DSC_1004 DSC_1005Next up, a test plot of some late planted lettuce, spinach, and carrots (you can’t see anything but the lettuce because they are so small right now). I also planted some lettuce stumps from store-bought lettuce. I’ll need to cover this section pretty soon but right now, it’s still pretty mild around here.DSC_1006Next up, the tunnels! In the first tunnel, there are late-planted purple cabbages. They are pretty small so I am not sure when we will harvest them. Hopefully, I will remember to write down when we do so I know for next year πŸ™‚DSC_1007In the tunnel next to this one, I have some green cabbages, some broccoli, and a lot of sprouting broccoli (purple and green). I have never done sprouting broccoli before but last spring when all of you other bloggers were overrun with PSB, I was wishing for some good broccoli so I bought some seeds this summer. I hope it works out. I’m hopeful and excited πŸ™‚DSC_1009Next to these covered tunnels is an uncovered tunnel of celery. These were planted from store-bought last fall. They were shaded over the summer by tomato plants and they are providing us with a lot of wonderfully flavorful celery this fall.DSC_1010We have really enjoyed our volunteer kale this fall in our morning smoothies πŸ™‚DSC_1011In the last row of tunnels, we have some of our earliest-transplanted cabbages.DSC_1012They are planted super close (I am horrible about doing this!!!) but some of them are starting to head up nicely.Β DSC_1013I’m basically waiting for them to harden. I am looking forward to fresh cabbage in our coleslaw and soups this December!!!!

Next to that box is a box of lettuce (direct-sown and store-bought stumps), spinach, and carrots.DSC_1014If you follow this blog and/or if you watch L2Survive’s videos of Paul Gautschi, you know that in his garden, he does NOT put down woodchips anymore. He puts down compost from his run. I decided to try this. Someone warned me that it would just encourage weeds but I wanted to try it. It worked in some sections and did not in others.

It seems to come down to sections of the garden with plenty of woodchips down already vs. sections of the garden with only a thin layer of woodchips. Here is a section that is newly covered with woodchips. This section has only been planted in once.DSC_1015So, the bad news is, covering this area with compost (instead of woodchips) produced a mat of weeds. The good news is, because of the woodchips, these weeds come up incredibly easily. Now, not two feet away, here is another section that was covered with compost (instead of woodchips):

DSC_1016Not a weed in sight.Β  So, it’s still an experiment but I’m not giving up. I would like for my garden to look more like Paul’s eventually (more compost, less woodchips). It is easier to plant in when you don’t have to dig down 6″ every time you want to plant, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚ At the same time, I don’t want to encourage weeds. So, again, I’ll just keep experimenting and I’ll be sure to keep you updated πŸ™‚

As far as December chores go, whenever we are blessed with a mild day, we will:

  • WEED
  • Possibly expand the garden (depending on my husband’s schedule and my energy level)
  • ORDER SEEDS!!!!!! AND BERRIES!!!!! (can you tell I’m excited? πŸ˜‰ )
  • order bees (yes, we are venturing into that part of homesteading. I’m pretty nervous)

What’s going on in your garden? Do you grow crops in the fall? winter? What do you grow? Do you cover anything? I am always in experiment mode so any suggestions are more than welcome! I don’t want December to pass by quickly but at the same time, I am looking forward to seeing what everything looks like in January πŸ™‚

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2 thoughts on “Garden in December, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

  1. Shumaker

    Would you send me a seed catalog name for your Christmas gift, please? Can’t find the list your Mom sent. How I would love to work in you garden, one hr. A day πŸ˜„

    Reply

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