Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The December Garden

I noticed the other day how well my Imperial Star Artichokes were still doing, which is in stark contrast to how they looked this time last year. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I'd side-dressed the plants with compost and organic fertilizer in August after they'd stopped producing.

Temperatures are expected to dip down to 26 degree F later in the weeks so I have a feeling they will fade fast soon after. In any case, I'm hopeful that they will overwinter in the garden this year. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Even if they don't overwinter successfully, it's definitely worthwhile to grow artichokes as annuals in our climate. I got an especially good crop of artichokes from my seven plants this year. Aside from the tasty flower buds, the plant's leaves are very decorative in my opinion and would add a lot of eye candy to any garden.

My Rhubarb Chard is hanging in there. The leaves have turned a deep burgundy color. Too bad I'm not a fan of this vegetable.

Even though they don't produce florets in their first year, my purple sprouting broccoli plants seem hardier than my fall broccoli. I'll cover them with fabric grow cover and see if they come back next spring. I have no idea whether or not they'll overwinter successfully in our Zone 6 climate.

Finally, the kale still looks virtually unfazed by the cold weather. You can tell that the nighttime temperatures are approaching freezing when the Red Russian kale takes on a purplish hue.


  1. I added a thick layer of mulch to my artichokes and cut back the vegetative growth about 1/3rd - all in an effort to successfully overwinter them. I will remove the mulch layer in early spring so the soil can warm up faster and to prevent root rot. Hopefully they will make it and come back stronger in 2012.

    Your fall brassicas and swiss chard look like they are holding up well.

  2. We are going to be in the 30's this week, but still I am amazed by the weather. I was HOT yesterday in jeans and a t-shirt. C-R-A-Z-Y. I feel like I live in Virginia, not MA!

  3. Your December Garden looks great. I'll try to overwinter some of my broccoli too. It's been such a mild year so far. Early spring broccoli shoots seem like a real possibility.

  4. still so much green in your garden!Very nice!

  5. Very happy-looking artichokes. Can you stand it to allow some buds to become flowers (not sure I could)? My mom does that in Cape Town, where the plants are major focal backdrops in flower beds.

  6. How nice to have color in the garden this time of year. We have nothing but browns and whites.