The winter garden

My winter garden tends to get a little messy. Above you’ll see the remains of the two broccoli and cauliflower rows, and then the rows of greens and roots that keep going through the cold months.

Winter is a time of renewal for garden and gardener. Rain recharges the groundwater, earthworms come near the surface in the moist cool weather, and green is everywhere! I like to let the weeds go a bit in winter. And not just because I’m trying to stay warm and out of the rain! Weeds provide organic matter for the soil, they protect the soil surface from erosion by wind or rain during winter, help alleviate compaction, and draw moisture from the air to the soil. Plus, the only planting I do in December and January is in the greenhouse, so there is not any need to till up the soil. To top it off, leguminous “weeds” fix nitrogen, pumping it from air to soil and into a form other less talented plants can use. And quite a few are edible as well.

Of course, you don’t want to let them go for toooooo long….  can you find the lettuce in this picture? : 🙂

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