I can’t believe how time flies. Here we are halfway through January and I am finally putting this list out.
The weather here in zone 8b this year has been strange, to say the least. We have had a few frosts, but overall we have had above average temperatures. I noticed this morning my easter lilies we starting to grow and many of my other flowers that had been hit by the frost are starting to bud out. We have gone so long now without a hard freeze I am hoping that we won’t get one. I know many people fear without a freeze, the following year bugs will be that much worse. When I was taking my Master Gardener Class, this topic came up, and my instructor said this is not true. She explained that bugs could bury themselves either in soil or plants to protect themselves from freezing. Thus, whether or not there is a hard freeze, has no bearing on the bug population. This makes sense to me, but I do think mosquitoes will be worse. My thinking is that stagnate water in many people’s yards will not have frozen, allowing mosquitoes to continue to multiply. If anyone has research to prove any of this, please share.
I seem to have strayed from the topic. So without further ado:
Vegetables to plant in January for zone 8b:
- chinese cabbage
- english peas
- onions – bunching
Below is a photo of my east garden today January 13, 2013. The front bed on the left has brocoli and a few stray mustard plants growing in it. The front bed on the right hass the chard and mustard, they are coming to their end. I have been removing the outer leaves but they are almost done. The second bed on the left has lettuce, beets, and cabbage. The beets are ready to be picked and the cabbage are forming heads. The second bed on right has a couple boccoli plants that I was hoping would go to seed and provide me with more seeds. I’m not sure what variety of broccoli this is as I got the seeds from a stranger at a seed swap. This broccoli has grown very well for me and is tasty, so I wanted to get more seeds. I assumed that if I let a couple go to seed that after they bloomed I would get seeds. I’m happy to say I have seen a few bees on the flowers, but as of yet no seeds. I’m hoping I just need to be a little more patient. There are also a few radishes growing down the far outside right of this bed. I’m hoping to plant potatoes in this bed so I need the radishes and broccoli to hurry along. The back bed on the left which is not visible in this photo is not much to behold. There are carrots and lettuce, both of which are ready to come out. I had planted more carrot seeds but they have not germinated well, but there are a few tiny plants growing. The back bed on the right is kind of a hodge podge, which is the way I garden. But it mainly consists of mustard and radishes. Mustard has grown very well for me and I like it, which makes it a good vegetable for me. I still have to finish adding a layer of mulch, but I started with some of the left over I had from when I was mulching the west garden a few weeks ago.
If anyone has suggestions for how to prepare beets, please let me know. I never liked beets growing up but decided to give them a try as most things taste better when they are home grown. I did eat some of the leaves as greens and they are delicious, but now I need to eat the actual root and to be honest I am a little intimidated.