Friday, January 6, 2017

Container Gardening in Winter

I am not an active winter gardener. There is nothing I dislike more than spending time outside in below freezing temperatures. That said, I enjoy fresh, winter greens. See my dilemma?

This season, I think I've figured out a way to cheat the system. Rather than utilizing my raised beds in the side yard, full of delightful compost no less, I planted Swiss chard, broccoli and spinach in pots on the back patio. The plan is to reach out my back door and snip whatever I desire, then retreat into the warmth of my home in 10 seconds flat.

The Swiss chard has done remarkably well. I've harvested gallon bags worth for the last few weeks. All from a medium-sized strawberry planter that had been sitting empty for years.

The broccoli is now filling out. Little florets are appearing on healthy stalks. I'm so excited!

These are planted in two large plastic pots; the black ones that are readily available at big box garden centers. I suspect the broccoli plant roots will quickly outgrow the pots, but they were the largest I had on hand.
The spinach has not fared as well, hence no picture. I planted them in small, unglazed terra cotta pots which I suspect is part of the problem. (The only thing I have successfully grown in terra cotta pots are succulents.) Unglazed terra cotta dries out quickly and is just too high maintenance in my opinion. It is unlikely that I will repot them but I know better for next year.
How does your winter garden grow?

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