Even with snow on the ground our winter garden is still surviving. With the shorter days not much is really growing this time of year, but everything is still alive.
Throughout December we had several really nice harvests of lettuce, green onions, carrots, swiss chard and radishes. It was really nice having some fresh greens on a cold day.
Our spinach plants still seem to be a little small, I think I have them planted a little to close. My plan is to go through and thin out some of the plants. One thing I learned from last year was once the weather starts to get warmer the spinach will really start to grow again and I want each plant to have enough room to really grow.
The radicchio is also ready to harvest, we just have to find a good recipe to use it in. We have never grown or even eaten radicchio, so it is a first for us.
We have had two problems with our winter garden so far. The first was slugs. Yes, those slimy little things. They destroyed one section of lettuce we had. We did not have any problems with slugs until it started getting really cold out. They must have sought refuge under the warmth of the low tunnels, then found a meal.
We also had a problem with some really small black bugs, like little black dots. From what I can tell they were flea beetles. They went unnoticed for a few weeks until I saw the damage they had done to our kale, arugula, and radishes. They ate little and big holes in the greens of the plants, really destroying the plants. Once I noticed all the damage, I applied some organic insecticidal soap and that seemed to do the job. Some other recommended control methods for flea beetles are Kaolin clay, garlic spray, spinosad, or sticky traps.
Other than those two issues, the winter garden has been great. A little weeding once in a while, but compared to a summer garden the work load is nothing. Just sit back and harvest a few fresh vegetables once in a while.
So if you are considering a winter garden for next year, give it a try.