January

comments (1) January 31st, 2013

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Mulched green garlic is braving the cold winter weather. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
After the garlic sprouts, I apply mulch around the green leaves before the earth freezes. 
I use wheatstraw to mulch the garlic bed, which helps to retain moisture, keep down weeds and control soil erosion,
It is so delightful to have winter blooms like this Helleborus even when the temperatures are freezing.
Daffodils are bursting out all over the yard.
These are Hemerocallis sprouts--they will bloom bright-orange daylilies this summer.
This hellebore adds a lovely shade of chartreuse to the winter garden.
When temps drop below 30, I wrap this young rosemary with garden fabric to protect it. On warmer days, I remove the fabric--this is a simple task if you use clothespins as fasteners.
Snowdrops are one of the first harbingers of spring in my garden.
Even though temps have been below freezing, this spearmint is still pushing through the earth.
Bright green, lemon balm foliage is popping up amongst the leaves.
After a brisk walk outdoors in the garden or sitting by the woodstove with the new seed catalogues, a cup of this chile-spiked hot chocolate is just the ticket! http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/10467/chocolat
Mulched green garlic is braving the cold winter weather. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

Mulched green garlic is braving the cold winter weather. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Today is the last day of January and tomorrow we begin the new month of February so we are officially in midwinter. Most of us gardeners have already tidied up the garden, so during this cold weather might be the time to clean and repair tools and equipment and make garden plans.

Of course, we are spending time looking through seed and gardening equipment catalogues, and making wishlists and actual orders. Before long seeds will arrive and we will be filling flats and sowing seed. Until then, we carry in firewood, load the stove and shovel off the sidewalks and porch and dream of spring.

Here in Maryland, we had a farily mild winter up until about two weeks ago, when temperatures plummeted to below 25-degrees F for a week. Hopefully this below-freezing cold snap killed some of the bugs that have been hanging on. We had a few teaser days with 50-degrees and now the cold has returned.

Although we rush about in heavy coats, scarves, hats and gloves and feel the winter chill, the earth is burgeoning with life. If you take the time to walk about and look at the plants in your garden, you will see new life everywhere. The photos included here, I took this afternoon with the exception of the garlic before I mulched it about two weeks ago. As the days grow longer, plant life will increase in leaps and bounds.

The forecast is snow this evening, so I think I will make some Chocolat and try and whittle down my seed list.


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posted in: garlic, winter garden, january, january garden

Comments (1)

gertcoleman writes: We have the snowdrops, too, which I think of as a winter plant, here in Staten Island, a few hours north. Bulbs are sending up sprouts, but the herbs are hiding. I am waiting for hellebore, too. I am hoping the cold snap and snowfalls reduce the tick population this year.
Posted: 6:03 pm on February 2nd
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