A January Look at the Garden, part 1

Today was my first look at the garden after being gone for 16 days, during which time the temperatures have ranged from in the 60s down to a bitterly cold 8 degrees. (For my readers farther north or south – yes, in Kansas parlance, single digits above 0 is bitterly cold.)

This is the first winter that I’m actually paying close attention to growth of various plants throughout the winter, with an eye to what is still harvestable and also what is simply still alive. I’m definitely learning a lot of about the resiliency of plants! Today I’ll show you what’s growing and what’s not in the uncovered parts of the garden.

I just can’t get over the larkspur! It is completely uncovered, no mulch, no protection of any kind, and it is still looking perky as ever. Single digits? What? Where? It would never have occurred to me that these flowers were so tough. I hope they bloom well this spring.

Most of the uncovered lettuce is completely dead, but there are still a few plants that have some life to them. If I had a larger population, I’d be tempted to try to save seed from them next spring.

If you look down near the crown, there’s still some life left in my favorite ‘Red Cross’ butterhead lettuce. I’m sure there are still some healthy aphids down in there too.

The uncovered spinach is still looking just fine, of course.

Last but not least, the parsley is still green in the center. From a distance it looks rather sad, but up close you can see that it’s still alive.

The outdoor plants are definitely going beyond my expectations. Check back later this week to see how things are faring under the two row covers.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on January 3, 2011, in Season Extension Gardens and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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