Saturday, January 29, 2011

A January Day Outside In The Garden

We've had very warm weather for us in January the last few days.  Friday it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit!
Saturday wasn't that warm, but it was still nice.  My wonderful husband and I took advantage of the nice weather to do our tree pruning.  We prune the trees while they are "asleep" for the winter.  The locust tree in the back garden had a couple of branches that touch the patio when it is full of leaves, and there are always a few branches growing across another branch.  My WH loves climbing trees so he set to work on the locust.

I pruned the small trees like our redbuds.  I also removed some old rough canes from the lilacs.  It's easier to get into the lilacs and see which canes are showing signs of decay when there are no leaves.  Also, removing the older wood reduces places for the ash lilac borer to lay its eggs and kill those canes anyway.  I don't prune the tips of the lilac canes until after they've bloomed for the year.  I also pruned our red twig dogwood and brought some of the nicest branches inside to put in a vase.

I also checked out the cold frame where I planted radishes and lettuce late last fall.  I thought the lettuce was dead after our sub zero temperatures for New Year's but look it's growing. 

I ate one of the leaves. Yum! I actually ate a leaf of lettuce from my garden while sitting in my garden in January. Crazy. There is not much there and it is growing slowly but I'm happy with my experiment.

After Thanksgiving, the lady where I work who decorates the front lobby for the holidays came to me with a little bag of gourds I'd grown last year wanting to know if I wanted them back.  I had brought her some for the decorations.  I said, "sure, I'll just throw them in the compost pile."  A little while later, she returned to ask me if I wanted the two pumpkins and the gourds she had purchased too.  I said, "yes!"  My WH and I made roasted pumpkin seeds and I saved these two gourds with plans to harvest the seeds.

The multi colored gourd cut easily with a knife but the bumpy gourd was hard.  My WH used the tree saw to cut it open for me.

I'm going to try to grow some of these gourds in the garden this year.

I also picked up trash that has blown into the garden and watered the strawberry plants.

The weather forecast is calling for another artic front to come through Garden on Sherlock Street with snow Monday into Tuesday.


  1. Glad you were able to enjoy such a nice day and you were able to get so much accomplished. To go from 70 to snow would be a bit shocking to me. Here we're back to the usual of rain and more rain.

  2. Glad you had some warm weather after seeing all the snow on your previous posts. Also, looks like your cold frame works well!
    It is suppose to freeze here monday night...:/ i have to cover things up again.

  3. Can I have your weather!! Sounds so wonderful compared to our freezing weather.

  4. What a lovely day you and your husband had together. You are an inspiration.

    Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

  5. Sounds like you had a nice day outside. I did some pruning yesterday got up to 69 degrees here. Also good for my vitamin D was so sunny & clear.

  6. The warm weather has been fabulous!! Glad you were able to get out and enjoy it over a weekend!! Get your sled polished up!

  7. 70 degrees how lovely in january! Your little lettuces look great in the cold frame, yet another thing I will try to get organised this year. I saw that you are trying brocolli raab this year, hope it does better for you than it did for me, I'm afraid it was a dead loss in my garden last year, i suspect it was short of water, so i may try again this summer.

  8. Your lettuce looks lovely! Do you go ahead and pull every other one or so, to make more room for the others to get larger? I love eating lettuce thinnings.

    I am so ready for spring!

  9. Lettuce from the garden in January~wonderful. I know it tasted delicious! it looks so green and healthy. I might have to get a small saw to cut the spaghetti squashes I want to cook! Thy are hard on the wrist. keep warm...gail

  10. ~Catherine
    It is a shock. I'd take your rain!

    Keep those covers on. We're back to freezing. I'm really testing that lettuce.

    I'm afraid those warm days don't last long. I was just glad one fell on the weekend so we could enjoy it.

    Thanks. Hope you had a nice weekend too.

    Getting outside for that sunshine is important in winter. It really helps everyone's mood.

    The snow won't stay in one place long enough to use a sled!!!!

    The broccoli raab will be an experiment. I hope I have enough decent weather to get it in early as apparently, it hates heat.

    I don't think I've ever pulled lettuce. I just cut off what I want to use and let it be a little crowded. Maybe I'd get bigger leaves if I thinned it more. We're ready for spring too.

    It does look pretty. Almost hate to take it out of the garden with nothing else green.
    Those spaghetti squashes are killer. Maybe I need a little saw for them in the kitchen too. They are so yummy, they'd be worth it.

  11. What I do is labor intensive, but I enjoy it. I pull out clumps when they get a couple inches high, then tear the roots off, and put the lettuce in a bowl. I leave a couple inches or so between other clumps, then, as they get bigger, go get more, leaving a little more space in between the plants. Sometimes, I'll use garden scissors to take the roots off, but usually, just tear them.

    To wash them, I put water in the bowl, then pull the leaves out and rinse them. I dry them in a kitchen towel.

    It just occurred to me that you probably have your own system for washing lettuce, but I'll leave it there anyway. ;o)


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