Evergreens, especially berry-producing varieties, can provide colour and interest to your garden in the winter snows. (Pixabay photo)

Evergreens, especially berry-producing varieties, can provide colour and interest to your garden in the winter snows. (Pixabay photo)

A Gardener’s Diary: Coldframes give leg up on spring planting

Columnist Jocelyne Sewell plans winter planting ahead of December

We are in the last week of November already. Thanks to the mild weather we had, I had a chance to put the garden to bed. The compost I had in the bins has been spread over the beds. It will continue to break down over winter and early spring and the beds will be ready to plant.

The round composters I have which come apart in the middle, are used in winter to protect my fig plants. I put half of the composter which has no bottom, around the plant and fill it with shredded leaves. This method has protected my plants last winter even with the many -20 C days we had. I also pile bags of leaves around them. In the spring, I take off the composters, put them back together and they are ready for the new compost. They fill very fast with the fresh grass clippings and shredded leaves I saved.

I still have arugula growing in one of the cold frames. I keep the lid on and open it on sunny days. I will sow some lettuce seeds and they should germinate when the weather warms up. The coldframes give me an early start in the spring. By early fall, I am ready to take a break from the garden but after a couple of months of winter, I cannot wait to start growing plants again.

My Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) Thanksgiving cactus (United States) | Christmas cactus (Canada) is in full bloom white the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) | Christmas cactus (United States) is budding. More information on the following site: empressofdirt.net/identify-christmas-cactus/

My very large bird of paradise has one faded bloom which looks like the roadrunner on a bad day. However, I have five buds at a different stage and they should all be open by Christmas and look beautiful.

A lot of people have found refuge in their gardens this year with COVID-19. Seed companies have seen their sales going up from other years. The benefits of gardening have been confirmed by many studies.

Healing through gardening – a practice that had been forgotten.

Bristol University researchers have found that certain bacteria in the soil have a high rate of serotonin (often presented as the hormone of “happiness.” Gardening, therefore, would actually fight against stress and depression… for free.

Gardening is the best sport at any age in preventing osteoporosis and high blood pressure. This is the best practice after lifting weights to preserve the quality of the bones, according to a study by a team of researchers from the University of Arkansas in the United States in 2000.

I was just reading about sweet potatoes from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They come in different colours of orange, white, yellow or purple. Sweet potatoes are very nutritious containing protein, calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin A and beta-carotene. Earlier the sweet potatoes were only white or yellow. Then in the 1930s, they cultivated the orange-fleshed which was larger, sweeter, moister and fleshier than the regular small sweet potatoes. It became a superior sweet potato. It was called a “yam” because it looked similar to the African vegetable and could be differentiated from the other sweet potatoes. The true yam is not related to the sweet potato.

For more information: 250-558-4556 jocelynesewell@gmail.com

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan.

READ MORE: ‘Aggressive’ coyote spotted near North Okanagan cross-country ski trails

READ MORE: Horsey Ladies collect cash for Lake Country group


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian author Paul Young, who wrote the critically acclaimed novel, the Shack, will join Vernon-based foundation, the Emily Dahl Foundation, for a Fireside Chat event in June 2021. (YouTube)
Bestselling author to be keynote presenter at Vernon event

The Shack author Paul Young to join with Emily Dahl Foundation for summer Fireside Chat

North Okanagan Minor Hockey Association coach Rory Taber (left) accepts donations of new equipment for some local players from former NHL player Jason Podollan and his Up My Hockey brand, courtesy of Bauer Hockey. (Photo submitted)
Ex-NHLer sets up North Okanagan kids with new gear

Jason Podollan teams up with Bauer Hockey to help out some worthy families with new hockey equipment

Lindsay Palmateer, a Salmon Arm mother of six, succumbed to her injuries after a serious crash Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, south of Enderby. (Contributed)
‘She was everyone’s caretaker’: Salmon Arm mother of six remembered

GoFundMe campaign exceeds goal already for family involved in deadly crash near Enderby

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna Mountie transferred, fined after pointing gun at another officer

Const. Kristine Roesler argued she handled the gun safely and did it in the spirit of ‘dark humour’

The exhibit is set to open on Nov. 13. (File)
UBCO recieves $1.9M for cleantech hub

UBCO campus will help develop and commercialize clean technologies and create up to 50 well-paying jobs

Brett Forsythe battles it out in a game of singles pickleball on ice at Okanagan Training Rink Thursday, Jan. 7 in support of the Vernon Food Bank. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Pickleball play hits the ice in Okanagan

Rivals battle it out in support of the food bank

A rendering of the proposed development, called 2020, adjacent to other currently underway projects in the area. (Contributed)
Proposed 46-storey tower dubbed ‘2020’ would be Kelowna’s tallest building

The building was proposed two days after council approved a 42-storey tower on Leon Avenue

  RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media file)
‘Dangerous situation’ inside busy Kelowna store prompts police presence

27-year-old man apprehended after threatening to harm himself inside store

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

City of Salmon Arm Coun. Chad Eliason goes public with the information he went to Mexico over Christmas. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm councillor travels to Mexico over Christmas holiday

Politician says he regrets decision and didn’t consider the ramifications

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Most Read