Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Gardening

A little seaweed on the compost pile...

How many people in Canada are lucky enough to garden—really garden—in winter? Not too many. While gardeners on the eastern seaboard are idly flicking through nursery catalogs, those of us on southern Vancouver Island really have no excuse. We should be out there tidying, mulching, digging, and plotting. So, what can you do in January in the edible garden? Here are a couple of ideas.

Keep the compost cooking. Compost can slow down in colder weather, but wormeries and larger compost piles will still be steamy. If you want to learn how to be an expert composter, the Victoria Compost Education Centre is looking for 'Brilliant Environmental Educator Superstars'. On January 22nd, 2011 from 1-4 PM the Centre will be hosting a training session for our volunteer educators. Check their website for more info.

Tidy up. Although there's a lot to be said for letting the fall leaves decompose after they drop into the shade garden, veggies gardens need to be tidy. Garden litter can harbour fungal diseases, slug eggs, and weed seeds. So clean up the vegetable and raised beds—and especially pick up fallen fruit and leaves under fruit trees.

Want to learn how to grow from seed? Glendale Gardens is offering a program on 'Year Round Harvest for the Urban Garden' taught by Linda Gilkeson. The first session is on
Garden Plans & Seed Starting Saturday January 22nd 9:00am - 1:00pm. Ten sessions do cost $400, but it's a great program. (Of course, you could always stop by your local neighbourhood community garden and see what they are up to in January!)

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