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Virginia Cooperative Extension

Between the Rows - A Guide to Vegetable Gardening
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December in the Vegetable Garden

A Time for Reflection
Welcome veggie gardeners! VCE supports local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter. Want to know more? Subscribe here to receive future issues. Missed out on past issues? You can get them all here.
Garden Guide
December To Do List
  • Continue to check the soil moisture of your Winter vegetable garden regularly and water well, particularly before an expected freeze
  • Regularly air out and vent the cold-frame or low tunnel on sunny days   
  • Increase heat inside season extenders, as necessary, using artificial lights and/or water to insulate plants and regulate temperatures
  • Harvest Winter crops more slowly
  • Do not prune cold-damaged plants
  • Start planning for next year's garden...
Plant, Pest or Other Garden Questions?

Contact the VCE Horticulture Help Desk

Knowledgeable Virginia Cooperative Extension volunteers are available to answer questions Monday-Friday from 9am to noon.
Some herbs can be grown in pots inside during the Winter, including chives, mint, fennel, lemon balm, lovage, parsley, rosemary, savory, and thyme. Sow seeds in pots with rich, well drained, and sterilized potting mix. Cover the pots with plastic bags or clear wrap until germination occurs. Put the pots in a warm room, in a sunny, southern window and keep the soil moist. Installing supplementary lighting and providing periodic fertilizer, as well as monitoring for pests and diseases is also necessary. More information is available here.

As the holidays approach, it’s a good time to reflect on how you might want to expand your gardening efforts next year: Consider starting seedlings indoors, shifting the mix of plants you grow, expanding your composting efforts to include worm composting or a composting bin, building season extensions for year-round gardening, or getting additional tools and equipment. As the year comes to a close, assess what worked and what didn’t work this growing season in your vegetable garden. Consider which crops and/or varieties did well and what did not do well, and make changes to next year’s garden plan.

A great gift idea is a gardening journal---a place where you can record your successes and frustrations from year to year (rather than relying on memory alone). It will become a useful resource for you when you purchase seeds or transplants and design future gardens based on past experiences. A list of other gardening gift ideas can be found here.
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