Carrots, Onions, and Peas in the Winter Garden

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You may not think that gardeners would be planting during this cold snap, but I am.

I am having too much fun watching others cover and uncover their plants. Our temperatures have been going from nearly 80F to 40F on a biweekly basis. I was walking through my local nursery, and mainly I am finding only a few varieties en masse. This is not the time to be considering a new bed for vegetables; is it? With the relative mild Houston winters, we could be planting year round. I spotted onion sets by the door, so I became inspired to expand my vegetable endeavors.

    Most of my winter vegetables are doing quite well. I am still surprised to see more cilantro growing. The tomatillo is doing fine as well. Reflecting on the past year, I see that I have relied more and more on the garden for vegetables, and this task has been easier than I expected. The problem that I had in the past was the backyard was obtaining more shade. By expanding into the front yard, vegetable production has increased. These front beds have been quite attractive. Considering that we grow ornamental versions of cabbage and kale in our yards, switching to the edible versions does not look out of place. Planning out patterns and using mass plantings of vegetables achieves a wonderful effect.
    Bunching onions and garlic already has a place in my garden beds. Onions seemed unnecessary; especially since I cold buy them so cheap at the grocery. I bought two sets, thinking that the stems would make a nice backdrop to other plants. Carrots are a good planting for this month, as are peas. The weather is a bit cold for the seeds to sprout. Optimally, the need a temperature closer to 70F, which is coming soon. I scattered the seeds between rows of other vegetables that I will be harvesting next month. My idea is to have these older plants protect the young seedlings. Frost may still be a worry, so I might have to cover a few plants after all.
    Eating seasonly is better for the family; however, everyone is used to the idea of certain items being available. Having pasta for dinner?  Tomato sauce is expected.  Interestingly, the green tomatoes that I harvested last month went red in a bowl by the window. Yet, I find that convincing  the family that other sauces with winter vegetables are just as good. The real challenge is finding the right flavor to entice. With my own children, who are used to my reliance on herbs, this has not been difficult,  but I have experienced problems with my nieces and nephews. (“Mom, he put something really weird on it, like parsley. Do I have to eat it?”) The only course of action that I see to take is to expose them more to eating seasonally, while finding ways to introduce them to herbs. I guess giving herbs to their parents is in order.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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