My Winter Garden

This is the first year I’ve planted a true winter garden – I mean, planting in November and December is not something I usually do. But the bug bit, and the beds had been dug in with soil from the mulch pit. The weather was beautiful and showery, so I planted.

Some early lettuces got eaten. Broccoli is holding up well. The cherry tomatoes that hubby has nurtured and trimmed back are still providing us with yummy fruit, though the skin is thicker than in the summer.

Cherry Tomatoes in December!

We worked in the garden on the 29th, and worked hard. Planted onion sets and cabbage and lettuce. Pulled out the insidious morning glory. Weeded. Ooohed and aaahed over the bell peppers, which are still flourishing.

Maui onions. They barely had roots to them – had to plant them in bunches. Will thin later.
Bell Peppers planted in April or May, 2012

Rescued lime trees from opportunistic plants. Spent hours (or so it seemed) in the chilly sunshine as a family, working to make the yard even more gardentastic.

When we woke up the next morning, it looked like it had snowed over night. Whaaa??? Not something that I’m used to in So Cal. We’d been hit with a HARD frost. Not just frosted car windows and rooftops and bare patches on the front yard; oh no. This hit us right in the Maui onions. The Sequoia strawberries. The – gasp! – year-round basil! Even the pansies were flattened by frost. My heart almost stopped.

My onion bed – frosted!
Frosted strawberries!
The parsley has a smattering of frost, too…

After the sun came out fully and warmed everything up, the garden looked – to this San Diego girl – happy. The rose bushes gleamed, their foliage dark and shiny. Even the pansies seemed to relish the cold, waving their bright little heads and standing up straight and tall. Only the basil had black spots that needed cutting away. The onions survived, as did the strawberries and the lettuce (which totally shocked me) and the cabbage and the broccoli.

Today we bought more onions (red onions, this time). Two types of lettuce. More broccoli, and cauliflower. The hubs even bought a tomato plant, though I told him it was far too early to plant tomatoes.

Red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, two types of onions, and an Early Girl tomato in a Red Flyer wagon.
Two new beds. Hubby says they’re for tomatoes. We shall see!

There have been ups and downs, but so far? I’m loving the drama of my winter garden.

I love hearing from you! Do you garden (when you can)? What is your favorite vegetable or fruit to grow? I’m always looking for something new to plant!

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

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About Christine

Writer of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance. Find me on Amazon...
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23 Responses to My Winter Garden

  1. Julie Glover says:

    I’m in awe of people who garden. Years ago, I successfully grew green beans, radishes, and tomatoes. Nothing else made it. Looks yummy!

    • Christine says:

      So you don’t garden anymore? I lapsed for many years, but I’m so glad I’m back into it. When it warms up a bit, I’ll be planting a whole bed of green beans!

  2. melindabpierce says:

    Your garden is amazing. I’ve tried several times with tomatoes and some other veggies I assumed would be simple, but growing in the Florida sand with all the Floridian bugs takes more time that I can commit. Some day!

    btw- when we have a frost, we are shocked too!


    • Christine says:

      Melinda – try container gardening. Patio tomatoes in pots work beautifully, and you can have tomatoes all summer long. More than you can possibly eat alone!

  3. drpharmgirl says:

    A garden in winter-be still my heart! We are fortunate enough to share in the bounty from my in-law and grandparent-in-law’s gardens. I love fresh green beans, strawberries, blackberries, peppers, and tomatoes. May push for some lettuce after seeing yours. Love the red flyer wagon-have one that looks just like it

    • Christine says:

      You know, I think every family with a yard has a red flyer wagon! Ours used to have wooden sides and the hubs would walk around the neighborhood, pulling both boys around in it. I think everyone should garden, and share. How much healthier would we all be?!

  4. Maggie Marr says:

    Love your garden! How wonderful you are gardening through the winter.

    • Christine says:

      Maggie, gardening is a way for me to rest, recharge, recouperate from writing. Strange, isn’t it?

  5. We used to garden when we had dirt in our backyard. We got so sick of having dirt inside the house due to our two big chocolate labs that we built a deck then had stamped concrete behind that so all we have now are edges where we planted tomatoes last spring and they were okay – a little tough in the skin areas, but they were beautiful. And we live in Northern California.

    • Christine says:

      Patti, some of my best tomatoes are in pots. Hubby wants to plant ALL our tomatoes in the ground this year and I’m nervous about it. But yeah, you can grow AMAZING produce in pots!

  6. robena grant says:

    I was house and cat sitting for my daughter in the North San Fernando Valley when the big frost hit. They had just put in a half dozen raised bed gardens and were growing a bit of everything. I was almost too scared to look, but you know what, the day after that frost those plants were just fine. Whew!

    • Christine says:

      Oh Roben! I bet your heart did just stop! I learned that a frost can be good for plants, if it’s not TOO hard a frost…

  7. Sadly, I have a black thumb. I can’t get anything to grow and if I do manage to get some flowers in the ground, the rabbits eat them…or the snails!

    Bravo to you and your hubby!

    • Christine says:

      Kathy, we are deep into the neighborhood, with no fields nearby and no arroyos, either, so we don’t have a bunny issue. Squirrels and rats and possum, yes…

  8. Lovely garden! I’m with Julie – in awe of those who garden. 🙂

    • Christine says:

      My dad comes from farm stock, Rhonda. You should SEE his garden! At 84, he still grows some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted. I hope, one day, to match his output. Of course, he’s in San Diego so the climate is a teensy bit different. Nowhere near as much wind as what I get, for instance…

  9. Sarah says:

    I didn’t realize you could grow so much stuff in the “dead” of winter here in San Fernando Valley. Must get out there and start planting. You are an inspiration!

    BTW, I know what you mean about your heart nearly stopping when you saw the frost. I remember when the rabbits discovered the tender garden plants….

    • Christine says:

      LOL Sarah – it’s one of my few forms of exercise now. When I planted in December, my butt and inner thighs were sore for a couple of days. Who knew planting used so many big muscles?

  10. Sam Beck says:

    Dude, this is more than mere gardening. You are FARMING! And by all accounts you’ll be a healthier, fitter, more centered person for it.

  11. Donna Coe-Velleman says:

    Love your garden and envy that you can still have one in Jan. I tried a tiny garden this year with very mixed results. Unfortunately my zucchini got powdery mildew and only harvested 3 zucchini out of 4 plants, But it was fun to do and to watch everything grow.


  12. A fun post! Wish I could garden but the skill passed me by…

  13. Roz Lee says:

    My garden has a name – Albertson’s. I grew some tomatoes in patio pots one year because the hubby wanted some vine-ripe ones. I figured each one cost around $20. That was the end of my back yard gardening!

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