What to plant and harvest in the winter vegetable garden
You might be ready for a break from your flower beds once winter arrives, but why not grow some delicious edibles while the rest of your garden is snoring? It doesn’t take much work or much space, it’s a lot more interesting than pruning roses, and the rewards are great. Chances are pretty good that you have room in your garden to tuck in a few Swiss chard starts or leafy braising greens. These types of edibles remind us that in our gentle climate we can have beauty – and food – in our gardens year round.
There are plenty of edibles that you can plant in winter vegetable gardens, including garlic, leeks, onions, radishes, lettuce, peas, potatoes, chard, spinach, rhubarb, and other leafy greens such as bok choy and kale. If you’ve already planted these yummy treats, then you can harvest them straight through winter. If you’re looking do a little wintertime planting, here are some tips.
Garlic – Set out nursery-purchased bulbs (separated but unpeeled) four inches apart. Don’t water them in. It’s best to wait until shoots poke up before watering for the first time. Better yet, let the rain water them for you. Garlic takes up very little room and needs little attention.
Leeks – Nursery starts are inexpensive and plentiful. They can be harvested throughout the year and are unfazed by our mild winters.
Onions – This is where your well-amended soil is important. Onions love rich soil – not too sandy or clayey. And they like regular water. You can sow onion seeds, but it’s easier to buy bulbs (called “sets”) from a nursery or online source. Don’t try to plant grocery store onions because it’s unlikely to work. The best time to plant onion sets is January and February. (For green onions, or scallions, pull up the plants when they are about six weeks old.)
Radishes – Forget about those starchy red rocks called radishes at the grocery store. Search online to discover a long list of gorgeous radish seeds including French Breakfast, White Icicle and Pink Beauties. Easter Eggs is a particularly beautiful variety that produces radishes of varying purples, pinks and whites. Radishes grow easily and quickly, with some small-rooted varieties ready in a month or less from the day of seeding.
Lettuce – Like onions, lettuce appreciates fertile soil and regular water. Some are more suitable for warmer months, some for cooler. There are dozens of varieties, including heirloom and redleaf. Mesclun – a combination of several lettuces such as arugula, chervil, chicory and cress – grows beautifully in our climate. Sow seeds in January or February or check your local nursery for starts.
Peas – November and February are the best months to plant peas. Poke shelling or snap pea seeds an inch or two deep directly into rich soil and give them something tall to climb up and wind their tendrils around. Pea shoots are delicacies for birds, so you may need to cover your sprouts with a floating row cover or anything that keeps birds at bay but that lets sunshine and rain in.
Potatoes – Like peas, a good time to plant potatoes is in February, with the satisfying potato harvest around three months later. Potatoes are a joy to harvest for adults and kids alike. Depending on the variety, potatoes are usually grown from pieces of tubers that have at least one eye or from whole small tubers.
Swiss chard and other greens – Swiss chard is like an exclamation point in the winter vegetable garden, lighting up beds with bright pink, yellow and red stalks. It’s one of the easiest greens to grow either from seed or from starts, and it grows all year. Other greens, such as spinach, kale and bok choy, are also easy. These greens can be used for salads or can be braised in stir-fries or thrown into soups. Most greens relish cool temperatures and go to seed in warm weather. Give them rich soil, keep them cool and you’ll be rewarded with fresh salad greens throughout the year.
By Marie Narlock
Oak Farms Vineyards Grand Opening
About Oak Farms Vineyards
As a family run winery in the heart of Lodi wine country, their story is one of passion, vision and a way of life. Their vines, Their wines, their history and the very experience their guests receive, all thrive by the people who make it happen.
The location has its deep roots as one of the oldest properties in the Central Valley, founded in 1864, and yet the staff is young and vibrant. In a busy world where everything is rushed and fast-paced, Oak Farm Vineyards is a retreat where new traditions begin, of family, circles of friends gathering together, and the writing of new stories starting here. The vision of the Panella family was to create such a place for the generations who appreciate this passion for the celebration of great wine, family, and special friends. The staff has a passion for making awarding winning wine, and creating a genuine hospitality experience as a wine country destination you don’t only visit, but feel a part of.
Tasting Room Manager
Tasting Room Hours
Open 5 Days a week, Thursday – Monday 11am – 5pm (Closed Tue & Wed)
Events & Weddings:
Our Address & Location:
23627 N. DeVries Road
Whether your yard is in need of a facelift, or you’re starting from scratch
with a beautiful blank slate, Terrain Designs Innovative Landscapes is the
company to turn to for help. Heather Quaschnick, owner, founder, and operator,
has found her passion in giving Central Valley residents landscapes and
outdoor spaces they love.
Heather has created Terrain Designs to be a complete landscape
company, working closely with her clients to execute a seamless design
experience that will leave the client loving their finished landscaping project. She
combines a unique blend of style and function — guiding clients through the
process with a variety of tools and processes, Heather addresses all aspects of
a job, from using CAD technology and 3d renderings to create computer
visualization for her design projects, working directly with construction
companies and landscapers, and doing regular walk-throughs to ensure
quality work is carried out in all aspects of the project.
Heather is available to tackle any residential project, as well as smaller
commercial design dilemmas, and has done work throughout the Central
Valley, up into the Foothills, and into the Bay Area. She enjoys the new
challenges of designing for different spaces, design preferences, climates,
With well over a decade of experience in the landscaping world, Heather
still approaches each new client and project with a fresh view and new
inspired ideas. She specializes in custom pool layouts and the surrounding
landscaping, living quarters, dramatic outdoor lighting systems, and much more.
She enjoys giving homeowners outdoor spaces that are both bountiful and
functional, creating beautiful designs that can also fulfill the usefulness of an
area, whether that is simply a patio area that requires comfortable and
plentiful seating, an outdoor kitchen that can handle a few cooks in the
kitchen, or a pool with plenty of beautiful areas for swimmers to enjoy the
Heather Quaschnick of Terrain Designs can help you create the backyard.
|Check out the article at http://www.herlifemagazine.com/centralvalley/ today.|
Vertical Gardening – Terrain Design Style
| Would you like a dramatic look in a small space? No matter how small your property is you can develop a Green Thumb by building a Vertical Garden. Vertical gardening is the way to go.If you have a blank wall or an area that you feel needs that little something tries growing a vertical garden. You can grow annuals, perennials or even edibles.Vertical gardening is one of the newest gardening trends. Using this type of gardening, it can draw attention to or disguise areas that you would like to. Vertical gardens can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. Reasons for growing a Vertical Garden:
Below you will find some ideas of vertical gardens from simple to more elaborate. You are only limited by your imagination.
|Hostas are known for their attractive foliage. Their foliage colors include green, blue, white, gold and countless variegated combinations. With this range of colors you will find a Hosta for almost every landscape situation from containers to background planting. Hostas are plants that have much success even for the beginner gardener. There are many varieties of Hostas. Below are a few examples of the different types that are available. Once a Hosta is planted it requires very little attention. Just finding the right location is crucial for the success of growing a Hosta. Hostas are adaptable and a hardy plant and are great choices for container planting. Hostas come in all sizes with the miniature measuring only a few inches across, while the largest ones can measure 6 to 8 feet across.|
| Hostas are shade tolerant, not shade loving. They will survive in full shade but do best in areas where they receive morning sun and are shaded during the hot afternoon. Till the soil to loosen it to a depth of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm). Amend the soil with compost, humus or sand if needed. Hostas prefer loose, well-drained soil. Varieties of Hostas that grow fast produce shorter plants. These have a wide-spreading shallow root network and work well as ground cover. Place these plants closer together and allow them to fill in and prevent weed growth.
Varieties that grow at least 12 inches tall (30 cm) and have more horizontal than vertical growth can be spaced closer together and used as border or edging plants. These types of Hostas are also commonly used around the base of trees. After Hosta plants are established, they don’t need much weeding. Use cocoa mulch or pine straw to mulch around Hostas. These products have the added benefit of also repelling slugs, the biggest pest problem that affects Hostas. Avoid using shredded leaves or other plant matter as mulch, because those products attract slugs.
Keep the layer of mulch to 2 inches (5 cm) thick or less. Over-mulching around Hostas encourages voles (field mice) that tunnel through the mulch and eat the Hosta leaves.
These large-leaved plants have a high water transpiration rate, so they require plenty of water. Although they can withstand drought, Hostas do best if given 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water weekly. For best results water the plants every 2 to 4 days.
Dividing a Hosta
You can divide Hostas at any time; but if you live in an area with harsh winters, it is best to divide and transplant your Hostas in the spring so they are well established before the first frost.
|Not only do Hosta plants make for a wonderfully attractive garden outside, cut they can be used to decorate vases as you can see in the photo below, also added to floral arrangements or just an arrangement made of only Hosta leaves is simple but stunning.|
|Wherever you decide to plant your Hosta in a bare spot that just needs that extra something, in a shady spot, or even in a container that would make a wonderful accent to a shady patio or porch. Their lush greenery will add a feeling of serenity to your yard.|
|Create a container garden Container gardening is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the growing season. It is the practice of growing plants in containers instead of in the ground. This is really the perfect way to have a garden when your space is limited. Container gardening is a great way to show off your green thumb. Gardens can be entirely in containers or just have a few carefully placed planters. They add interest and can really give a stamp of originality to your garden. This is a great way to express your creativity and can make a truly one of a kind and special gift too.Container gardens are the perfect place to experiment and have fun. . Use whatever plants you like. Mix in perennials, shrubs, houseplants, vegetables and herbs. Container plants also add versatility to gardens large and small. They can lend instant color and character along with providing a focal point in the garden. It is an easy way to tie in the architecture of the home to the garden. There is no need to spend a lot of money on containers. This is the time to be creative. Look around your house or go to Flea Markets or even your local thrift store to find interesting items that will make a unique statement in your yard. Containers are fun to choose, to have that creative look in your yard. Hanging baskets, old boots, wagons, wheelbarrows, old galvanized tubs, pans all make for an imaginative container garden. To give your space an even more dramatic look, add plant stands of different materials for your containers to sit on.
Below are a few ideas of what you can plant to make attractive container gardens
Herbs make for great plants for containers.
Suggestions for an Herb Pot:
Select your herbs. When making an herb pot, it is essential to have a good variety of herbs and companion plants that will assist your culinary pursuits. Some good choices include:
Sweet Marjoram, Lemon Balm, Sage, Common Basil, Mint, thyme, Oregano, Hot Pepper
Planting theme containers are a fun idea: For example if Italian Food is your preference, try planting Chives, Oregano and Sweet Basil.
Herbs that go well with Potatoes such as dill, Chives, Rosemary and Parsley.
A Salsa garden is always a fun and creative container to plant, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro.
All these items can be planted in the same container.
Suggestions of plants that work well together and some to avoid:
Combinations to Avoid
For the most part, pots that are bigger are better especially for plants like tomatoes. Some vegetables need more depth than width to grow. Keep that in mind when choosing containers to plant vegetables such as carrots or radishes.
Pots made out of clay dry out faster than pots made of plastic or wood so watering will be more frequent.
You don’t need much to get started with container gardening, but there are a few essentials that will give you a better chance of success:
Keep in mind when starting to put together a container garden.
Soil – Good soil is essential for all container-grown plants. Fill the container with quality potting soil up to an inch from the rim – any more soil will wash out when you water. Expect some settling of soil over time.
Water – More frequent watering is necessary for container plants. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Continue watering until liquid runs from the bottom of the container. In the hot days of summer, containers may require daily watering. If you are combining plant varieties in a container, make sure the moisture requirements are the same.
Food – Use diluted plant food. Because water drains out more quickly, so will the fertilizer. You may fertilize your container garden with either a slow-release fertilizer or a water-soluble, quick release fertilizer such as 20-20-20.
Light – Provide light requirements as dictated by the variety. If you are combining plant varieties in a container, make sure the light requirements are the same. Remember to turn the containers occasionally to maximize light exposure on all sides.
Planting – Space vegetable, herb, and flower transplants about 1/3 closer than in the garden. This guarantees a full container with a great appearance. A tree or shrub root ball should be only slightly smaller than the container. Repot as needed when growth dictates. It’s a good idea to repot every 3-4 years to replace soil which has experienced salt build-up.
Temperature – Container plants require extra care to prevent overheating or freezing. Either can cause drying out.
Grooming – Prune, deadhead and pinch back as needed. Check container plants often to keep hem from getting leggy. Watch for disease and pests. Remove dead foliage and flowers to prevent fungal diseases. Because container plants are closer together, the opportunity for disease is greater.
Steps in preparing a container garden
Prepare the pot.
Make sure that your pot has holes in the bottom for good drainage.
Take your gravel or grit, and pour this into the container to about a quarter of the pot’s depth.
Fill. Once the gravel is in place, start to fill the pot with a multi-purpose, or soil-based compost. This should fill approximately three quarters of the pot’s remaining depth.Place the herb plants into the pot, with
about 15cm between each stem. Squeeze each herb gently from its temporary pot, and tease the roots from the root ball; this will encourage them to spread out.
Place the taller plants in the center of the display and the trailing ones near the edge. This will help to ensure the best growth. The display may look messy at first but will fill out and look lush within a few weeks
Fill in around the planted herbs. Once you are happy with the positions, start to fill the gaps between the plants with compost.
Firmly, push the compost into the gaps by pushing your fingers deep into the soil that you has just added, being careful not to damage any roots.
Fertilize Obtain a controlled release fertilizer.
WaterWater thoroughly, until the water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot. The compost needs to absorb a lot on first watering, Continue to water over the coming months, at least every few days, or when the soil seems dry. Herbs like to dry out betweenwater.
Find Nature as your Inspiration
Go Green for the Holidays
Welcome your guests with festive entry way planters embellished with fresh greens. This is a simple and easy way to decorate your home inside and out. Everything from wreaths to garlands adorned with ribbons and lights make for a spectacular holiday look. Fresh greens fill your home with the scent of the holidays.
Terrain Designs has few suggestions to make your holiday decorating fun and festive. Start in your own garden, this is one of the best places to look, incorporate pine cones, pods and twigs even fresh or dried fruit help to create a dramatic look for the holidays. Below you will find a list of greens that can be used for your holiday decorating.
White Pine: This soft, bluish-green, long needled pine has excellent needle
retention, but wilts visibly if dry. It is readily available as per-made garlands
Virginia Pine: This native pine has shorter, coarser needles, and is long lasting,
With excellent needle retention
Junipers: Fragrant, short, green or silver-blue foliage that may be adorned with small blue berries. The needles are often sticky.
Firs: All firs have wonderful scent and good tolerance of hot, dry indoor conditions. The needles are short and flat with excellent color and needle retention. Fraser fir wreaths and swags are commonly available from commercial sources.
Spruce: Wreaths are the main use for spruce greens. The branches are stiff with short, sharp needles. Blue spruce is especially attractive because if its color, and it holds its needles better than other spruce cultivars.
Ivy: This vigorous vine is readily available in many yards. It makes an excellent green for holiday arrangements. It will wilt quickly if the cut ends are not kept in water.
Holly: This most traditional holiday green comes in several forms, both green and variegated. Female plants display bright red berries.
Mountain Laurel: This is a traditional evergreen in the South for wreaths and garlands. As with other broad-leaved evergreens, however, laurel holds up best when used outdoors.
Boxwood: The small-leafed shrub is a longtime favorite for fine textured wreaths and garland. It has an aroma that is either loved or hated. Be sure to test it before you use, just in case you don’t care for the fragrance.
Magnolia: The large leaves are a glossy, dark green that contrast well with the velvety, brown undersides. Magnolia leaves make stunning wreaths and bases for large decorations. The leaves hold up very well without water.
Before decorating with your greens, soak them in a tub of water overnight to allow them to absorb water.
|With the Fall planting season upon us
Has many wonderful and tasty suggestions to make your Fall and Winter harvest exceptional.
Loads of fresh, healthy and delicious produce come from
Fall and Winter Gardens.End of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of your vegetable garden. Your Fall garden my become your favorite garden.Below are a few ideas that work well for fall planting. Add a favorite flavor to your fall cooking…
Below are a few ideas that you might want to plant in your fall and winter garden.
Goodbye summer, hello fall!
Fall is the optimal time of year to plant, and it’s right around the corner. Annual flowers bring a punch of color to the fall and winter garden. Terrain Designs has many wonderful suggestions to add an abundance of flower and foliage color to your landscape during the fall. Below you’ll find a list of popular winter annuals that will bring cheer to the cold days. Happy Planting!
Pansies are one of the most popular and recognizable fall weather annuals. The pansy flower is two to three inches in diameter and has two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal with a slight beard emanating from the flower’s center. The plant may grow to nine inches in height.
Snapdragons are charming long-time favorites. Superb in beds and as cut flowers. Incandescent colors on softly puffed spikes with a lingering fragrance. Perfect choice to add charm and color to your landscape. Snapdragons are easy to grow. You will have success if you grown them in well-drained garden soil.
Primrose enlivens your borders, pots, window sills and baskets. They offer a variety of form, size and color.
Considered among the best of all the wonderful, cool-season plants. Flowering kale and cabbage produce foliage in brilliant, colorful shades of lavender, green, purple, pink and white. They’ll be sure to bring your garden alive.
Calendula is an easily planted annual with orange and yellow flowers and alternate leaves. They add beautiful color to beds, edgings and containers. It’s easy and rewarding to establish in any garden. A real autumn beauty!
The radiant white, yellow or orange flowers are individually isolated on an upright hairy stem, producing dazzling splashes of color when planted in mass. The Iceland poppy prefers light, well drained soils in full sun.
One sniff of the stock’s luxuriant fragrance and you will be utterly enchanted. The romantic beauty of this flower brings texture to garden designs, and its sweet, spicy fragrance is an added attraction. Colors range from white, cream, yellow, peach, lavender, pink, purple and burgundy.
Fall Planting for Winter Gardens~
Loads of fresh, healthy and delicious produce comes from the Fall and Winter garden. The delicious rewards of winter gardening are every bit worth the effort of stretching the season. Terrain Designs has many wonderful and tasty suggestions to make your Fall and Winter Harvest exceptional!
Some ideas for your Winter Garden include: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, and parsley. Also on the list are, swiss chard, snap peas, snow peas and spinage.
Heather at Terrain Designs also has tips for soil preparation for your fall plantings. This will ensure maximum growth for your Winter Garden!
|home trends ا OPTIONS FOR THE HOME
By Jessica Clare
|Anyone who’s tried to tackle
landscaping themselves knows that
a lot more goes into it than picking
out a few plants and tearing up some
grass. Transforming your yard into the
outdoor oasis you’ve been dreaming
of takes careful planning and an eye
for aesthetics, and unfortunately, the
results don’t always match the vision.
If you’re looking for a little extra help to
make sure your outdoor re-vamp turns
out just like you want, talk to Heather
Quaschnick at Terrain Designs.
Quaschnick draws from her thirteen
years of experience designing for
landscape contractors and commercial
landscapers in coming up with
outdoor living spaces for her clients.
She’s helped design public parks and
subdivisions, but feels her talents really
get a chance to shine in residential
landscaping. “I like starting from a blank
slate. It’s challenging working from
different spaces, and I enjoy having to
use my creativity to make it work and
accommodate what people want,” says
Quaschnick. She has worked on brand
new lots and existing yards alike and
travels everywhere from the Central
Valley to Bay Area, even as far west as
Carmel to help homeowners transform
their outdoor space.
|as a designer and turn her imagination
on their ho-hum space. Quaschnick is
happy to work with her clients’ requests,
whether they want to incorporate the
currently popular outdoor kitchens,
fire pits, or low water and maintenance
flora. Those who are willing to let her
completely dictate the look of their
newly-landscaped yards will be treated
to her contemporary and upscale design
style. “I like the naturalistic landscapes,
but still love the look of hedging in
some areas,” Quaschnick explains. She
compares her style to the designs you
might find at many Lodi wineries, and
hopes she’ll have a chance to try her
hand at winery landscaping in the near
Quaschnick has recently expanded
her business to include providing the
finishing touches on her design work,
like pottery and outdoor furniture,
as part of her design service, so
homeowners can get everything they’re
looking for from Terrain Designs. “I kind
of feel like the sky’s the limit,” she says.
“I like to do everything.”