January is the quietest month in the garden. But just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come.” -Rosalie Muller Wright
An idyllic day at YardFarm.
Here Comes the Cold
We are approaching the middle of winter with some seriously cold days on the horizon. Interspersed in this dreary weather are some incredible sunny winter days-our personal favorite. This is a great time to clear the clutter, trim trees and get ahead of the game for next year if the weather is nice or start some seeds indoors if it’s not.
Our garden has been quite productive lately. We are eating as much greens as we can handle, cabbage and broccoli are ready for harvest every few days. We also recently planted peas, garlic, leeks, onions and more salad greens. It might be a bit early, but we were getting antsy and the holiday time allowed for some catch up that is otherwise not possible.
Apart from gawking at seed catalogs, we have some great indoor and outdoor activities you can think about.
Plan for Spring
It’s hard to imagine starting tomato and pepper plants right now, but this is the time. While you are at it, there are lots of cool season crops that will yield a harvest well before tomatoes will. Brassicas and greens will germinate faster and get a head start if you grow them indoors or at least bring the plants in overnight. You can plant lettuce, spinach and a variety of other cool season greens all winter long by direct seeding-carrots, beets, turnips, etc. This is a fun way to stay active when it’s freezing outside. Don’t forget to check out the Travis County Extension Calendar for the best times to plant your veggies!
Most fruit trees are dormant this time of year and soon you will be seeing bare root trees or whips available for planting. Container grown trees can be planted now as well. This is not a good time to plant hardy citrus though, as planting stresses them out and they are sensitive to temperature until established. Cover recently planted citrus during any hard freeze. If you are interested in fruit trees for your own home, let us know! We have a wide variety available and can help you every step of the way, from finding the perfect spot to caring for your tree through the seasons.
Hardy perennials can be planted right now and dormant plants can be moved around with great success. The ground stays soft this time of year, making that process much easier. Did something get too big for a space? Is there a better spot for it to thrive? It’s crucial for the right plant to be planted in the right place and often under-performing plants will thrive when given better conditions. We have been growing some beautiful perennial herbs and vegetables in our greenhouse. We would be happy to deliver them to you anywhere in the Austin area. Contact us for availability here.
Now that the leaves are done dropping and hopefully cleaned up, this is a great time to reapply a mulch top dressing. Nothing makes a landscape look better than having freshly mulched paths and garden beds. There are numerous places to source mulch in Austin. Whittlesey Landscape Supplies up north, A.G.P. Rock N’ Dirt Yard down south, Natural Gardener out west-or your friends here at YardFarm would be happy to help.
With spring just around the corner, we are looking forward to spending more time outside enjoying the beauty Austin has to offer. It you’re like us, this means lots of patio time! If you have been considering a new outdoor living area, now is a great time to start planning and building so that it will be ready when that first sunny, warm spring day comes around. We would love to help with design and planning, or if you have your own vision, we can help you bring that vision to life! Contact us for a free estimate.
Festival Beach Food Forest Benefit
There’s a big event about to happen right here on the grounds at YardFarm!
On August 28, 2014, Austin City Council unanimously approved the creation of the Festival Beach Food Forest (FBFF). The FBFF will be a fence-free Eden on two acres of park land where all citizens are welcome to learn about food forestry and experience the beauty of having an edible learning mecca in the heart of Austin.
In celebration of the groundbreaking, we a re pleased to announce that YardFarm will be hosting the kick-off benefit! This fun-filled event will include music from local musicians, free food and beverages from Austin vendors, presentations by local permaculture experts, a pie walk and the launch of Festival Beach Food Forest’s indiegogo campaign.
Happy January from all of us at YardFarm to you!