Garden Log 2-29-12 – Farewell to Winter

February 29, 2012

Maybe it is just wishful thinking, but I’m all set to call this winter over and move right into a spring gardening mode. This was the mildest winter that I can recall in a very long time, and one that I wouldn’t mind seeing be repeated more often!

It’s been a while since the last Gardening Log post but I’m planning to run them more often this year to share what’s growing inside of the garden, as well as what events are occurring outside of it. And this looks like it will be a very busy year with lots of activities and new plants to cover.

Central Pennsylvania Gardening Shows and Events

This past weekend saw the local debut of the spring gardening shows with the Pennsylvania Garden Expo taking place at the Farm Show Complex here in Harrisburg. The Backyard Fruit Growers Group also held their winter workshops at the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, PA. The Pennsylvania Garden Show of York is on tap for next weekend and from there the gardening activity only picks up in pace.

Other local garden related events include the Philadelphia Flower Show and a slew of local workshops such as the fruit tree grafting workshop sponsored by the BYFG, and the spring beekeeping workshop hosted by PENNAPIC. There are so many events on the calendar that I’m already encountering scheduling conflicts with interesting events that overlap each other.

Summer Travel Destinations Topping My Wish List

Looking further out there are a number of trips that I would like to take this summer in pursuit of my gardening interests. One that has already been scheduled is an upcoming Seed Summit sponsored by Pennington Seeds in Portland, Oregon. Hopefully I’ll come back with lots of good ideas to share with those who haven’t turned their entire front yards into vegetable beds just yet.

Other excursions that I would love to attend this year include the Eastern Apicultural Society’s beekeeping conference in Burlington, Vermont, the Garden Writers Association’s Symposium in Tucson, Arizona, and the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs PA. Then there’s an assortment of gardening workshops and outings taking place closer home throughout the spring and summer months, and I may even find time for a little wilderness camping this summer.

What’s been Growing in the Garden over Winter

I’ve started raising some transplants indoors but there’s even more activity outside these days. Right out in the garden, the mild weather has meant that a supply of fresh leafy greens and root crops has been available to me from last fall, through the winter months, and those harvests will continue right into springtime!

I have plants such as broccoli that stood out in the open all winter and still look like they are doing just fine. Of course the hardy kales, collards, and mustards are ready to begin a new round of leaf production, but I also expect to see less hardy plants like chards, artichokes, and cardoons survive this mild winter with no problem at all.

So far all three of the beehives have also made it through their first winter and my optimism for their survival was boosted by the sight of them collecting pollen already! The one top bar hive that swarmed last summer is noticeable weaker than the other two but if it continues to hold on they should be able to build back up relatively quickly as the weather warms.

Guess Who is Making News at Mother Earth

That’s as in the Mother Earth News Magazine’s blogging platform! I’ve been a fan and reader of Mother Earth News for years, so I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute some material over on their collection of websites. A new profile page marked my official welcome, and I recently posted my first article there.

So in addition to the Veggie Gardening Tips site, you can also find my content at Mother Earth News and Central PA Gardening, or connect via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and the Gardening Secrets Newsletter. Choose your favorite channel or format and subscribe to the RSS feed, “like” my Facebook page, or just keep checking in here for more tips and updates on the latest organic vegetable gardening information.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • I’m ready for spring too. Seeds have been ordered. I’m curious if the plant predators have been as happy about this mild winter as we have. I suppose that means the good guys will be happy, too, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Glad to see your post Kenny…I have what you would call a “green thumb” here in NYC, but I learned so much from your posts. Looking forward to reading more. I am so into gardening I started a blog, seed sale and exchange so that I can help teach others as well. Best of luck with the 2012 garden 🙂

  • Tori King

    Hi ! I’ve stumbled upon your blog looking for some answer’s about my Brussels sprouts. They were planted last summer and I never got to harvest them.. all winter long. Down in Southern Illinois the winter was a mild one. My children called my attention to the garden box and low and behold I have two huge stalks of Brussels sprouts. Are they still good? I would hate to just mulch them under as I prepare the beds for this years crops. But I’m unsure as to whether or not they would be ok for eating. They are beautifully shaped and bright green with no dark or discolorations of any kind. If you could please let me know my children would be most grateful. They want the sprouts for dinner!

  • I can’t wait for spring to get to michigan. Its been an odd year. im ordering seeds soon and am excited to get started.

  • Kenny Point

    Hi Tori, sorry I missed your comment but the Brussels Sprouts should be fine to eat as long as they aren’t soft, mushy, or starting to disintegrate. I have a couple plants that survived the winter but they are still pretty immature, I’ll leave them in for a while and see how they grow this spring.

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