Wisdom from the Winter Garden
By Kate Rudd
The winter garden is not beautiful to the untrained eye. No more neat, vibrant rows of lettuce, carrots, chard, squash, and tomatoes. No colorful display of flower blossoms or insects abuzz. No neighborhood children running to pick carrots—exclaiming over how a radish grows. Nothing but empty lines, sad perennials. The intelligent gardener uses winter to enrich their soil with a diverse jungle of cover crops to nurture microbial activity, replenish nutrients depleted from last season, and build the soil by growing then composting organic matter. These techniques significantly enhance next season’s potential, but in winter this looks like chaos that doesn’t fill harvest baskets. It is generally barren, decaying, messy. It seems meaningless and a little depressing.