Winter Chores in the Potager

The potager in January

The weather has been so nice this holiday season that my wife and I decided to do some much needed maintenance in potager.  The Cypress vine that brought us so much joy in the summer had to come down.  The same plant that had covered our fence and trellis in beautiful red flowers and drawn so many hummingbirds and butterflies into our lives was now just an eyesore.  So, with pruners in hand, my wife and I cut, chopped and pulled down all remnants of the vine.  It came down very easy, but it covered us in tons of tiny black seeds.  You know what that means.  More Cypress vine than I will know what to do with in this spring!  

Carrots and lettuce from the potager

Once the fence and trellis were clear it was time to move inside the potager.  First, we harvested.  We pulled carrots, turnips, spinach and butter crunch lettuce. In addition to the lettuce, spinach, carrots and turnips, I have Egyptian Walking Onions, shallots, 10/15 onions, collards, chard, lemon grass, rosemary and purple cabbage.  Man do I love winter in the South!  Where else can you have so many vegetables thriving in the garden in January.

One of the trellises that we built to support the peas

After the harvest we got back to work.  We took the pruners to our lemon grass, uchuva and salvia.  Then we built four, three-legged trellises out of cedar limbs.  We anchored these in the middle of the four odd-shaped beds in the center of the potager.  After they were secured, we planted Little Marvel Peas at their base.  According to my Aunt Sara, peas are best planted either the last week of the year or the first.  We will see.  I have tried to grow them before and they just didn’t pan out for me.  I really hope they do well this year.  I have worked really hard at improving my soil this past year and my wife and I worked very hard on the little trellises. I can just see them covered in pea vines in early March.  Once the peas were planted, we finished up by planting some French breakfast radishes and some Chioggia beets that I got from

The central bed in the potager. It is full of carrots, poppies and byzantine gladiolus.

While we are talking about the potager, let’s not forget all of the flowers that I have planted in it.  Right now, my red poppies are up and my Byzantine Glads are beginning to make a show.  The foxgloves and Hollyhocks look terrific.  A mermaid rose that I found while riding my bike two years ago has finally taken hold and is beginning to send out canes all along the south fence.  I am going to plant a row of red sweet peas along this fence in hopes that the mixture of red flowers with the white  roses will be stunning.  I also have lots of strawflower, statice and salvias that seem to be thriving.  Check back in the spring to see what will hopefully be my best pictures ever!