Winter Garden Update

on Jan 07, 2019 by Michael Rupured

Last fall, the weather folks forecast a milder-than-average winter for North Georgia. Compared to Kentucky where I grew up, even tbe worst winters here in Athens are mild. I decided to take my chances on a winter garden. The results, so far, have exceeded my expectations.

In previous years, I planted pansies and violas in the fall and nothing else until February or later. Emboldened by the forecast, I set out collards, cauliflower, and broccoli plants. I also sewed seed for turnips and peas. I like turnips, and they are easy to grow. Fresh peas are vastly superior to canned or frozen.

Snapdragons are another experiment in my winter garden. Snapdragons, petnuias and diantus and other half-hardy annuals can surive temperatures (Fahrenheit) into the twenties. I usually wait until the risk of colder weather has passed, but these snapdragon plants were too nice to pass up.

Collards and a surprisingly fragrant deep purple pansy.
Sunny yellow violas and snapdragons.

Since the garden went in, we’ve had a ton of rain. Freezing temperatures made me nervous a few nights, but did no harm. In fact, everything appears to be thriving. The yard is filled with the fragrance of the deep purple pansies — an unexpected pleasure. The veggies look great, as you can see below.

Teeny broccoli floret forming.
Pea plants, 3-4 inches tall
Cauliflower!

Things are coming along much better than expected. I’ll be eating home grown cauliflower before too long. I’ll keep you posted.