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My Winter Garden in Late December

December 30th, 2010

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and relatively warm (around 30). After Mr Chiots and I took the dog on a walk, I decided to head out and uncover the low tunnels to see how everything was doing.

Our temperatures have been much colder than usual here, so I figured things wouldn’t be doing as well as they should be. Usually our temperatures in December are in the 30’s. This December our temperatures have been in the 20’s and the teens. The days have also been very cloudy, which doesn’t help warm up the low tunnels.

I have 2 different varieties of spinach growing in my low tunnel ‘Catalina’ and ‘Giant Winter’. So far they both seem to be doing well, I think the ‘Catalina’ might be doing slightly better. We’ll see which variety starts producing faster when it warms in the spring.

A few things were slightly frosty, but the good thing is that the new growth is still doing well. This means that I’ll be able to harvest very early next spring once the weather warms regularly.

Winter gardening definitely has a learning curve, and the weather greatly affects what the outcome will be. I think if our December was “normal”, I’d be harvesting spinach and arugula right now. With each year I’ll gain knowledge and figure out the planting schedule for my particular climate. I should be doing pretty well in a few years!

How’s your garden growing?

11 Comments to “My Winter Garden in Late December”
  1. Mrs. Whimsy on December 30, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Your garden is looking pretty good considering the variables!

    Sadly the only thing barely making it right now is my potted indoor herb garden. Some of the full sun herbs are suffering. I’m going out to research local grow lights today, maybe that will give them a boost during the winter. That is the sunniest window I have, and it’s just not enough for some herbs like mint. I’ll keep trying….

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  2. Nebraska Dave on December 30, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Susy, I am still trying to master the regular summer time gardening. Maybe I will try to extend the season a little this next year. I’m just not ready to full delve into all winter gardening. This next year I will start trying to preserve more in the pantry. I have a history of giving produce away which I will still do. I’ve expanded the garden so I can still give away as usual but have plenty to stock the pantry with.

    Have a great winter garden day.

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  3. annie on December 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I have mustard greens, kale, garlic, onions, radishes, carrots, and turnips growing right now. I’m lucky enough to live on the Texas gulf coast where our winters are like most people’s spring. Of course, I say lucky, but come summer when the humidity is in the 90’s and so is the heat I won’t be feeling so lucky. Summer is actually our winter- high heat, humidity, and no rain for three months means most plants stop growing. I’m planning to move somewhere colder though and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.

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  4. MAYBELLINE on December 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The winter garden is thriving.
    peas, carrots, lettuce, beets, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, and herbs. Whooops – the grapefruit is almost ripe. Freeze expected tonight.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  5. Sande on December 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    You and a few others are inspiring me. I think before next winter I’ll need to get something set up outdoors for winter gardening. I would love to be able to go out on a sunny winter day to check the veggies!

    Reply to Sande's comment

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  7. Donna B on December 31, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Believe it or not my bell pepper and sweet hungarian peppers are still producing!!!!! Tonight should take care of that as we are expecting our first freeze. A week ago we had 2 feet, Yes, feet of rain in a week. I thought it had drown out everything. We live in southern California so we are able to have nice winter gardens. Like Annie, our summers can be horrendously hot.

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  8. Mike on December 31, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Hi – could you give me your link for the low tunnel system you have on your raised beds? I have 15 raised beds, 4 x 8 x 8 and see a lot of potential with the system you are using. My area might be a little colder than yours – Montreal, Canada.


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  9. Sincerely, Emily on January 1, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Your winter gardens look great. I don’t really need covers for the most part and mine are not doing great this winter. They are doing great with lettuce. The onions and garlic are growing well. The cabbage struggled through some hard early freezes, but they are going to make it I think. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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