Monday, February 9, 2009

Desert Winter Garden Update

My vegetable garden beds are against a south wall so in the winter time they get almost no sun at all. But because it is very hot here I figured that would be kind of ideal for some winter vegetables. Here are my winter garden results:

Cabbage: Warm weeks in January caused them to bolt - at least I think that is why they bolted. Not enough direct sun means no heads.

Lettuces and Endive: Stellar, thriving.

Radish: Pretty good growing but planted too close and didn't thin enough.

Carrots: Still waiting from an October sowing which can't be good.

Beets: Same as carrots!

Parsnips: I read now in my Desert Vegetable Gardening book (from Arizona, relevant but Coachella Valley is a much drier and hotter and much different desert so not always helpful) that parsnips not well adapted. This seems to be bearing out. But the greens are so pretty!

Peas: Come to find out I have planted the wrong variety! I had not shelling peas as I was looking forward to but drying peas. They are doing great but I feel so silly!

Spinach: Beautiful and tasty. The lack of direct sun is keeping them quite small in the leaves, nice.

Pole Beans: Hmmmm... rot on the bottom leaves, too much watering I suspect. Just as I was ready to rip the whole thing out there have sprung up some flowers, so we shall see.

Butternut Squash: Rotted leaves, same as above. I noticed some new leaf growth but the cold weather we are now having may do them in.

And my attempt to start strawberry seeds proved as difficult as mentioned in above mentioned book. Started with about 25 seedlings but one day of neglect left them dry and dead. My attempt to revive them only lead to 4 odd sprouts. I'm holding on to see if these are maybe runners. I will buy plants in April and though normal weather says that is too late for planting in our desert I will hold my breath for mild temperatures!