Winter Harvest is Beginning!

| February 24, 2014 | Reply

Winter Harvest is Beginning! Cool season crops are maturing in Southern California. It’s time to finally see the fruits of my labor, started back in October.

Winter Harvest is Beginning-harvest

Today’s winter harvest – beets, radishes, cauliflower, sweet peas, celery, dill

It sounds like I’m bragging, but, as much for my own edification, I wanted to list all that I have growing in my tiny front yard garden. Most of it is planted in the ground, a few things in pots, and grown organically.

Kaye’s 2014 Winter Garden

Grown from seed:

9 Head Cabbages – 3 Red Acre, 3 Copenhagen Green Market in ground, 3 green in pots

Winter Harvest is Beginning-cabbage

Red Acre Cabbage

5 Savoy Cabbage

8 Veronika F1 Cauliflower

11 Kale – 2 Lacinato, 3 Redbor, 3 Winterbor, 3 White Russian – (I’ll never eat all this kale, stop by!)

Winter Harvest is Beginning-kale

1 Winterbor Kale Plant

3 Dozen beets, Red and Rainbow

2 Dozen Radishes, variety

5 varieties Carrots, about 100

8 Varieties of Sweet Peas, in serious trouble (watch for next “Late Bloomer!”)

Winter Harvest is Beginning-pea

Snow Pea

A dozen broccoli plants, Purple Rudolph and Rapini

6 large pots of potatoes, 5 varieties, 4-6 plants per pot

Winter Harvest is Beginning-potatoes

Yellow Finn and German Butterball Potato Plants

A dozen heads of chard in various stages of growth

Winter Harvest is Beginning-chard

Ruby Chard, Rainbow Beets, Savoy Cabbage, Red Beets, Radishes

3 dozen garlic, in various stages

2 large lettuce boxes: Tatsoi, Endive, Spinach, Arugula, Red Deer Tongue, green leafy, etc.

Baby Bok Choi, just planted 2 dozen seedlings

5 large bunches of heads of celery

6 Quinoa plants

2 Broomcorn stalks

A dozen leeks

A half-dozen parsnips




Italian Parsley, several bunches



Alum Root, Heuchera

1 large Aloe


German Camomile



True Comfrey








Bunches and Bunches and Bunches of Wild Arugula

Nursery plants and trees:

Several Pineapple Guava Trees, blooming

1 dwarf Meyer Lemon tree, loaded with unripe fruit

1 dwarf Valencia Orange tree, fairly loaded with unripe fruit

2 blueberry bushes

A dozen strawberry plants

1 blackberry, 1 raspberry, 1 boysenberry vine, blooming

12 asparagus crowns starting to sprout, half second year, half third

I have a few flowers, including 5 pots of 20+ year-old geraniums looking better than ever, and cacti and lots of succulents, and several small, potted, and 2 in the ground, non-fruit-bearing olive trees, lilac bush, heirloom roses (high maintenance!) and lots of California native plants.  I have a huge wisteria covering 10 sq. feet. 5 huge and 2 small camellias, 2 large birch trees, and I share a huge Pittosporum tree, blooming now with thousands of bees buzzing.

I have at least a dozen milkweed sprouting back and 15 more milkweed seedlings started (Monarch caterpillars only feed on milkweed). I’ll be giving some of those away, as well as a ton of seeds to share, as I just don’t have room for my appetite for growing. I have about 50 tomato seedlings and as many peppers for summer, as well as 6 squash and a dozen cucumber seedlings. If I was younger, I’d like to be the planting manager on an organic farm, and leave the pest maintenance to someone else. Oh, yes, and I’d love to harvest!

Being out in the garden, you get lots of close encounters with bugs! – Harvesting one of my cauliflowers today, I discovered what I learned to be is a Brown Widow Spider.

Winter Harvest is Beginning-spider

Mature Female Brown Widow Spider in Cauliflower

They are “taking over,” one resource stated. Entomology, the study of insects, is something I’ve always been interested in – but, I became an actress. I study human behavior. That’s pretty close.

What’s growing in your winter garden? If you are snowed in, what cool season crops are you planting in spring? What’s your secret for maximizing your garden space? Please leave a comment, and thanks for reading! Please contribute to Late Bloomer Show on Facebook. I’d love to see photos of your garden. And find Late Bloomer Show on Instagram. There are some amazing garden Instagrammers! I hope to connect with you! Become a subscriber of my YouTube Channel and you won’t miss an episode of “Late Bloomer,” which seeks to inspire anyone to grow their own food! And if you are just getting started with your first garden, download my free ebook “10 Steps to a Great First Garden” from this site. Happy gardening! – Kaye

PS – If anyone would like to know where I got my seeds: Botanical Interests, Seeds of Change (also seed potatoes and garlic), West Coast Seeds, Horizon Herbs (roots), Grow Organic, Baker Creek, Redwood Seeds, Box Garden Organics, the Seed Library of Los Angeles – SLOLA, and seed exchanges with gardeners.

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Category: Cool Season, Urban Gardening

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