Winter gardens and gardening

More leaves seems to be the theme for preparation for winter in our garden.

My gardening companion collected more leaves this morning from neighbors near our small house in the mountains (to add to our already thick layer in front and back of the house), then we returned home to the Piedmont to a second load of delivered city leaves. He spent more time this afternoon moving some of those.

Leaves are black gold, certainly, and enrich the soil in our woodland garden areas. Leaves transform clay-rich subsoil to something resembling real topsoil quite quickly. A good thing, although our soil in the Piedmont (covered by lawn for many years) isn't as difficult as what faces gardeners in much of our region.

I spent a bit of time harvesting and freezing lemon grass (we're expecting lower temperatures tonight than we've had so far), and then checked everything else. I've got a lovely flat of mache (corn salad) and I'll try to transplant a few plants into soil tomorrow along with some of the collards. I'll probably put the mache in the cold frame with the top propped up, and see what happens. The lettuces still look great, as do the young collards and mustards. None of my fall spinach germinated, probably because of warm soil temperatures and dry soil, so more spinach will need to wait until late winter.

I cooked fresh arugula as a stir-fry green with homegrown garlic for our dinner vegetable, quite delicious, along with the leftover smoked turkey (from 12 Bones in Asheville, yum) from Thanksgiving.

And, I'm planning to harvest more arugula and cilantro tomorrow - both are still looking great.


  1. Geez, and he's been out there trying to spread all the leaves delivered by the city, before we leave for winter break. A leaf fanatic, but in a good way.


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