December in the garden – Garden Share Collective

This is my first post to share with the Garden Share Collective, a group of bloggers and vegetable gardeners from around the world. It’s organized by Lizzie who writes the blog “Strayed from the Table“.

TheGardenShareCollective300pix1

 

If you are new to my blog, let me introduce myself. I garden on a small side yard on the edge of urban Oakland. I have four raised beds as well as a standard vegetable patch. I battle deer, squirrels, and our cat who loves anything green. Getting enough sun is a big problem as there are large trees on every side. But, I manage to grow enough organic vegetables and herbs to supplement what I buy at the farmer’s market. My garden feeds my family, friends, and neighbors.

Oakland garden

Oakland garden

Oakland garden

Oakland garden

Oakland garden

Oakland garden

We’ve finally had some rain in Northern California, more is expected later this week. It has been such a dry year and I’ve struggled to keep my vegetable garden going while conserving water. The garden is beginning to slow for the winter, the lettuces seeded in late September are only an inch tall. They may not be big enough to gather till next year. I plan to seed some small radishes this month. If the warmish weather holds, they may mature before our first cold snap, fingers crossed.

I’m harvesting chard, the first of the broccoli, and salad greens including both lettuce and a few leaves from the fava beans. I’ve dug the first of the Jeruslem artichokes. Because they are so invasive here (I have direct experience with that woe), I planted a few tubers in a large container. However, maybe because I was so stingy with water (?), there aren’t very many artichoke tubers. Not to worry, I will dig them out of where I orignially planted them several years ago, in the middle of the garden. They are extremely happy there, unfortunately.

I’ve planted radishes and carrots in containers on my back deck. The radishes are ready for harvest. I don’t think they got quite enough sun, sigh. This one looks good though. Hopefully the carrots will pull through. I have terrible luck with carrots.

Radish

Radish

My to-do list for December includes getting the garden ready for winter.

  • Weed
  • Mow around the raised beds when the ground dries out
  • Rake leaves
  • Cut back the dead asparagus stalks and add compost to the bed
  • Pinch the snap and snow peas to encourage branching
  • Start reading seed catalogs and thinking about spring
Baker Creek Catalog

Baker Creek Catalog

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quck tour around my garden.

8 thoughts on “December in the garden – Garden Share Collective

    • You were smart not to plant them in the ground! They keep expanding their range in my regular garden. I’m digging them up all spring as the shoots emerge. The only good thing I can say (besides that they are good to eat) is that they are breaking up my clay subsoil. They don’t seem to mind it. Maybe that was the problem with a container, the soil was too loamy.

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  1. I have never grown Jerusalem artichokes before .. I’ve heard they can be invasive. How do you cook them? I’m a huge fan of arugula, love it in sandwiches and pasta .. so yummy! I’m forever hauling out the nasturtium which clambers over everything in its path. Welcome to Garden Share 🙂

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    • They can be very invasive, plant them in an enclosed space if you decide to grow them. They can be roasted like a potato and taste a bit like a cross between an artichoke and a potato. I’ve also made soup with them, that was very good. And, I’ve pickled them, lots of them. They have the unfortunate side effect of giving many people gas, pickling seems to eliminate this. I planted them for the flowers as well as the tubers. They are members of the sunflower family and grow tall (10 feet) branching stems with many flowers.

      I love arugula as well, I think it’s my favorite lettuce. Have you had it on a pizza? Yummy. Hot pizza with a lightly dressed arugula salad on top.

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  2. I’ve never grown nor tasted Jerusalem artichokes – but I do love both potatoes & artichokes, so I must give them a try at some point. I ordered the Baker Creek Whole Seed catalogue as well – just love it!

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