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The December Garden

Snap Peas (& a garden gnome!)
Beresford Park Community Garden
December 15, 2021

It's hard to describe just how good the winter gardening is in San Mateo.  While most gardens across the country have long gone into a frosty hibernation - we're, at long last,  getting the rain we've been without for the last 9 months or more.  It's finally time to turn off the irrigation systems and let Mother Nature do her thing.  The new moisture is creating a full-on nutrient soup that flows through our soil, fueling an explosion of activity within the soil food web.   Fungal activity is pushing mushrooms to the surface.  Our favorite spring flowers of nasturtium, poppies, sweat peas, borage and yarrow are in a race to establish their growing territory.  And, thankfully, the newly moist soil makes pulling up oxalis, mallow and bindweed sprouts a bit easier.

As you would expect, plants thriving now in the garden were initially planted out in the fall.  Those crowns of cauliflower and broccoli, or the 3 foot sprouts of snap peas - have been in the ground for a few months now.  Now's the time to give those garden beds a fresh helping of compost.  And while sSome gardeners will take a few months off until the weather warms - hopefully they'll plant a cover crop of fava beans, buckwheat, clover or hairy vetch as a natural way to return nitrogen to the soil via photosynthesis.  In many ways, December is a key month in terms of both growing crops to harvest and in preparing beds for the coming year.

Even in the chaos that can be the holidays, getting out into the garden is always a great way to spend time.  Time in the garden lets us connect with other gardeners and neighbors during this ongoing time of "social distancing".  Now is a great time to get some seeds into the ground.  To give you an idea of some of the types of food currently growing, below are a few images from a walk through the Beresford Park Community Garden this afternoon:


Cauliflower


Red Beets


Lettuce

Broccoli

Fava Bean

Snap Peas

Celery

Kale

Borage

Cabbage

Calendula

Onion


Chard

Wishing you all a very safe & happy holiday season.  See you next year!

-Bill S.



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