Kitchen Garden

Winter Gardening

Workbench in Late Winter
Workbench in Late Winter

Chives, lettuce and garlic are up in the garden, beckoning my presence.

On yesterday’s last day of winter I spent a couple of hours burying four large plastic tubs for an experiment in carrot growing. 18-inches deep, I filled them with compost. After settling overnight, they will be re-filled and planted with four varieties of carrot seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds: Yaya F1 OG (hybrid early carrots) Bolero F1 (hybrid storage carrots); Purple 68 F1 (hybrid specialty carrots); and Laguna F1 OG (hybrid main crop carrots).

I have enough seeds to plant a spring and fall crop.

Carrot Containers
Carrot Container

Anyone who has planted carrots is familiar with the main challenge: providing deep, loose soil for the roots to grow. Last year’s crop was a moderate success in the ground, but I didn’t dig the bed deep and it showed. Over the winter I read about growing carrots in containers. Since I had the tubs, there wasn’t much additional work to cut drainage holes and place them in line 10-12 inches deep.

With rainfall, the new soil may settle. Judging from the locust tree roots I cut to make the holes, there is plenty of soil moisture, although a higher percentage of clay a foot deep. It’s an experiment. We’ll see how it goes.

Raised Beds Next to Compost Bins
Raised Beds Next to Compost Bins

Today’s garden task is to consolidate and blend the remaining compost. There are two bins and a pile of decomposed apple pomace and horse manure. There is plenty to build soil in most of the garden plots.