December in Review

December was a month of mood swings! Record cold and record heat. This lovely snowfall early in the month, and then a balmy Christmas!


December started off cool and dreary, so we were happy to escape to Tuscany for a while. By the time we returned Christmas decorations were everywhere, so I had to hurry to get the snowmen and garlands placed in the potager’s exterior border, just in time for a pretty snowfall. That’s about all the decorating I did this year, other than putting a nutcracker collection on the fireplace mantle. Most of the month has felt more like March or April than December, with very little sunshine (only 10 days) and balmy spring-like temperatures in the mid-50’s and mid-60’s! Winds and dampness made it unpleasant to be outdoors much of the time, so it was good to be indoors writing Christmas cards and reading the newly arrived seed catalogs. There were also lots of good sports to view, both basketball and football, plus holiday movies and extra cooking and baking.

Not much work has taken place in the potager this month!

Between travel, the holiday and the weather, not much has been accomplished in the potager. I should have spent a day cutting down frozen broccoli plants and trimming back some perennials, but I was lazy. The rutabaga crop was dug, and some harvest of leeks, broccoli, kohlrabi, parsley, and spinach occurred. The spinach came from open rows, so that growing inside the poly-tunnel remains for next month! More planning was done for the potager’s beds, and the third seed order was placed. More about that later.

For the number folks, December’s harvest totaled 8 lbs. All the storage carrots were dug in December of 2017, which boosted that total to 15 lbs. 2018’s total of 7 lbs was mostly parsnips, which never got planted this year! Total harvest for 2019 is a whopping 1,015,25 lbs! I didn’t set a goal of more production (639.5 lbs. in 2017, 693.5 in 2018). In fact, I’d decided the potager had produced too much, so I was just trying to smooth out the gluts and famines, and have a broader variety of fresh food daily. However, it was a good growing season, with timely rains and decent temperatures, and although spring was late coming, so was autumn! The addition of the poly-tunnel made a significant difference, as did the really bountiful melon crop.

Doubtless there will be more winter ahead, with time for setting new goals, reading through the garden journal to make changes and seeding plans, and more seed catalogs to peruse. Meantime, we need to make a dent in the pantry and freezer food, or there won’t be any empty cans for preserving next season!

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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