Plants for my vegetable garden

Down in To Do list IV I've identified a re-focus on my garden. I also want to be a bit more ambitious with my winter vegetable garden than I was last year.

Cover crop

I think I'll try a "green manure" / nitrogen fixing cover crop to improve my vegetable garden soil fertility. ATTRA has a short article on how these plantings improve soils. Peaceful Valley seems to supply seeds (mostly clovers). They also sell Ca native Phacelia tanacetifolia (I already have seed aplenty) as a cover crop. Should you go look at their website note that their picture is not of P. tenacetifolia, but P. grandiflora. I emailed them; hopefully they'll fix the error.


The cauliflower I planted last winter wasn't a success, but I noted at the time that it is reputed to be the hardest to grow of the cruciferous vegetables. My other options seem to be best summarized by Robert Smaus in the LA Times: Vegetables that do best [between October and January] include beet, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, endive, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leek, head and leaf lettuce, mesclun mixes, onion, pea, radish, spinach, snow peas, Swiss chard and turnip. Grow them from seed or small plants, although broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower should be put in only as small plants so they can be planted a little deeper and stand up straighter.

I think I'll try lettuces, peas, kohlrabi, rapini, and carrots. My previous tries at carrots and kohlrabi both failed miserably, but perhaps that was because it was too late in the season. I already have chard - "Bright Lights", if memory serves.

I'll use some sort of raised bed garden - probably just mounded earth. We'll see how all this works out. I sense a timing conflict between the cover crop and the food crop, but perhaps I can plant through the cover.

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