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Something’s still alive in the garden in December

By Penny Stine

I went home for lunch today and decided to check on some of the plants that I left still doing their thing out in the garden last month. It’s been fairly mild, so I wasn’t surprised to see that they’re doing just fine.

This is the Swiss chard that I found when I was going to pull the broccoli. It looks like it’s grown since last time and is doing quite well. The broccoli is pretty sad. I really should have yanked it out. If I think about it, I’ll pick the chard and eat it this weekend. Yes, I know there's not enough to eat much, but still... I'm picking Swiss chard in December. How cool is that?








This is the Brussels sprouts that never produced anything.  Maybe I’ll have sprouts by Valentine’s Day. And maybe it will freeze next month and I'll pull out a dead plant in February. 






The kale surprised me, because out of everything that I left out there, it’s the one thing I know that can survive, no matter how cold it gets. All the kale I picked this summer was from kale that I had planted two to four years previously.
This kale certainly looks dead as the proverbial doorknob. I have a feeling that when I cut it back in mid-February, it will start growing again, which is what usually happens.


I had a bunch of carrots that were coming up from seed I scattered quite some time ago. They weren’t big enough, so I just covered them all in straw. It looks like they’re alive and well under the straw. I’ve read that they’ll overwinter just fine like that, but sometimes they become a target for bugs looking for something tasty.
I’m sure we’ll get some colder weather in January, but so far, all of this bodes well for my early spring garden.