Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

While we are far from being under ice and snow and our cold temps a trifle compared to other parts of the state, we’ve been off to a relatively cold and rainy start. Boy, are we thankful for the rain – we NEED it– and combined with the cold temps they bring a nice and early snow pack to the local mountains. 50 degree days and below 30 nights are as “wintery” we are going to ever get here in the LA basin and, that, my friends (to us wussy Californians), is downright cold.

We’ve had ice in the yard for over a week now, and, thankfully, much of the backyard garden is tucked in nicely under heavy row covers. The jet stream is lower this year, bringing us a storm or two at least once a week. Rain is a rarity; but this season we are off to such a good start that there’s green “stuff” growing on pathways and rocks – otherwise known as moss and algae which I haven’t seen much of since leaving Florida.

Hopefully, the cold will kill of the bad, bad bagrada bug plague (yes, plague!) that afflicts the poor brassicas. These invading vampire bugs are newly “imported” and it’s a new uphill challenge for organic growers in the area.

With a 365 day planting season, there’s something always growing. Winter in California means greens, peas and brassicas are growing in the garden and a bumper harvest of citrus. Yes, citrus! Tis the season for oranges. The cold snap really helped sweeten this year’s crop.

We’ve been drinking freshly squeezed oranges juice, chowing down on Meyer lemon pound cake. Sorry for making your winter any “blue-er!” But it’s not all sunshine, lemons and oranges. In fact, it’s raining (hard) again today and forecasters are telling us to  “Grab a couple of extra blankets. An extreme cold front is about to move in to Southern California. It could be the coldest weekend of the year.”


How’s your winter garden coming along?




  1. elaine says:

    Everything is pretty static here in the UK – nothing much growing except brassicas and leeks and it will be a few weeks yet before any seed sowing can be done – the weather here has been unseasonably mild this winter so far – we could really do with a cold snap to kill off the bugs and beasties.

  2. Michelle Steen says:

    I have both miniature orange and lemon trees in my home. They are all 3 about 4 foot tall. Why are they not flowering? Once they flower I can take a clean feather duster and a fan to germinate them.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    From Ohio,

  3. c says:

    My garden holds kale, broccoli, peas and onions. The cabbage took a hit very early in the season so no cabbage till early spring. The potatoes are sitting quietly underground ( till I dig what I want). We had a couple of hard freezes before I got the row covers down so no lettuces or greens till the next batch is ready to go out under cover. The combination of cold and rain is really hard on most plants so I need to cover even my cold tolerant plants in december or they tend to kind or slow rot.

  4. Sarah says:

    My winter garden sleeps under mulch and finally, a bit of rain. Would love to install tunnels on several of my raised bed, the neighborhood association would be less than thrilled. sigh. Just having the raised bed has raised a few hackels, however mist of the neighborhood is curious and supportive.

    Sarah, KS

  5. Aimee says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with on the bagrada bug!

  6. Sharon says:

    The winter garden on the east coast (CT) is still under a light blanket of snow.
    But that hasn’t stopped me from making my lists and tidying up the polyhouse.
    These past few milder days have been such a treat. Lovely site…will be back.

  7. Mama Lulu says:

    Hi there from Vermont. Our winter garden has a layer of what we locals call poor man’s fertilizer (snow). We currently are having a January thaw; which means it hit a high in the 40’s yesterday and the ice and snow on the dirt road are becoming slush and mud. My winter garden is really only my house plants at this point. Although this time of year when the gardening catalogs arrive, sitting by the wood fire in the kitchen/dining area surrounded by my house plants and drueling over the catalogs is as good as it gets. (ok – I’ve been dreaming about Hawaii…I won’t lie). Check out my blog! We are working on plans for the gardens and will raise a lot more vegetables this year! My husband made some awesome raised beds. In the mean time, I’m sitting down with a hot cup of tea and looking at your garden. :>)

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