December in the garden is traditionally a month characterized by tranquility. Nature moves at a leisurely pace. It prepares itself to face the cold weather to come, but at the same time it gathers strength for the burst of spring that will follow.
Let’s think about what to plant
December, like January, is a good time to think about what to plant for Spring and Summer.
Quite possibly, you will have replanted various vegetables in your cottage. If you have grown before, you may have noticed that not all vegetables have the same yield and success in your space. Some have good results and some do not.
Depending on the soil you have available, the climate, the temperatures that grow in your area, the amount of water you have available, some vegetables are suitable for your property and some are not.
If this is your first time growing, you could ask neighbors who are involved in growing their gardens and discuss their own experiences. They will help you choose the vegetables that will yield the most.
If you’re the adventurous type and like to experiment, you could try growing a variety of vegetables and see which ones are the most productive.
What to plant? Seeds or seedlings?
Having chosen the vegetables you will grow in the coming months, you have two options for how to sow them. You can start your vegetables from seeds or buy ready-made seedlings from a nursery or agricultural store.
In case you choose to use seedlings, all you have to do is visit nurseries and agricultural stores near you and ask them when they will start to have them available. By knowing this date, you will be able to plan times for the coming months.
If you choose to start your vegetables from seed, then it’s time to start looking for seeds (unless you’ve saved your own from last year’s production). You have several options for finding seeds.
- From neighbors who have saved seed.
- From an uncle in the village or on the island.
- From the Alternative Community “Peliti”.
- In envelopes from agricultural stores.
- In envelopes from online shops
Choose the vegetables you will grow and make sure to get the seeds in time.
I imagine you have specific areas in your garden where you grow your vegetables. You rotate crops (αμειψισπορά) in the same field. Its purpose is to enrich the soil with ingredients that other plants absorb and other plants release into the soil. Growing a single plant (monoculture) results in a reduction in the amount of nutrients that it absorbs each growing season.
In simpler words, do not sow the same vegetables in the same place every time. Plan the places where you will plant your vegetables this year, based on where you planted them last year. If last year you planted spinach in area A and tomatoes in area B, this year plant spinach in area B and tomatoes in area A.
If you have not already done so, you should cut the weeds growing on your property while they are still young. If you let them grow longer, it will take more effort. Either way, sooner or later you will need to do the cleanup.
If you have a relatively large space, the cutting process would be made easier by purchasing a lawn mower. Make sure you get a good trimmer so that you can keep it with you for many years and it will not cause you any problems with its operation.
If the cut weeds are in a place that I am going to use for cultivation, then I leave them for a few days as they are lying on the ground. Then I dig up the soil and leave them to be used as green manure.
Pruning and shredding
It is worth getting a compost shredder. This is a machine that can cut the branches of the trees you have pruned and other organic material into small pieces. You can then use the pieces of branches to feed your compost.