2016 Goals for the Garden

| 12/15/2015 10:31:00 AM

Tags: winter, winter gardening, season extension, greenhouses, garden planning, cabbage, Charlyn Ellis, Oregon,

Solstice Night is the traditional time to set goals. On that night, we sit by the fire, review the year, and plan for the next. I’ve been thinking about the goals for the garden already; two are building upon existing systems and the third is new. Once I am clear on my goals, I am going to post them in the greenhouse, so I will see them almost every day!

Goal One: Cabbages in February

I want to harvest a few cabbages in the late winter from my back yard. It is not an impossible goal; the winter weather will not kill an over-wintered crop, if it is protected. The key is in the timing. I need to find a variety that will grow large in the heat of the summer without splitting and bolting, and then hold through the rains and slug munch of December and January.

I have some small cabbages in the garden right now from this year, which I planted in June, but I’d like a big, glorious head on Candlemas. I will be closely reading the Territorial Seed catalog when it comes!


Goal Two:  Improved Record-keeping

This is always a trick. I start out strong and fade in the flurry of June and July. What I really need is a five-year system to track planting dates and weather patterns. I am good at the big picture; I plan out the bed rotation every January based on a system I designed  ten years ago. Then I draw the garden plan, hang it on the fridge, and mark all of the planting dates.

By harvest, I am down to about 50 percent. I bought a notebook last month and I’ve been practicing every week: prep, plant, harvest, preserve, weather, chicken notes, and miscellany. Close record-keeping would improve my planting systems and eliminate arguments over old weather patterns.

12/25/2015 11:42:10 AM

You would have fit in just fine at our solstice fire...we spent hours talking about garden plans.

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