Monday, January 24, 2011

The Food Bank Garden: Winter Wonderland

The Food Bank of Yolo County Garden

We were very excited to hear from master gardeners, Robert Dragoon and Steve Radosevich, that our winter garden is the most successful they have seen. While this may have been a slight exaggeration, it certainly makes us proud of the project. Thank you to Robert and Steve, and all of the volunteers who have helped us with this venture. We’ll need more help this spring!

Baby broccoli

Ready to be harvested

Here are some tips to consider when planning your winter garden for next year:

  • Consider planting cover crops, like fava beans. This adds nitrogen to the soil for next season’s vegetables, suppresses weed growth, and protects soil during winter rains.
  • To help lengthen your growing season, plant your garden in a south-facing direction of your home or shed to allow more heat to be captured.
  • It’s critical to rotate your crops—don’t plant the same vegetables in the same area the following year, as this will weaken the soil and attract the same pests.
  • Keep an eye out for cabbage loopers and aphids, both of which can show up during warm spells. They are especially damaging to Cole crops.
  • As winter garden crops are harvested, early summer crops can be planted. This includes radish, onions, carrots, and beets.
  • Finally, start perusing your seed catalogs. Spring is around the corner!
Gardening tip sources:

Other tips courtesy of Robert Dragoon

Beautiful and delicious sugar snap pea

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