As my tomato plants start to wilt and the peppers have all been picked and roasted, my thoughts turn to a green, tasty winter garden. Who doesn't like fresh little lettuces, crisp snow peas or broccoli straight from the plant? But that takes planning, including a strategy first to replenish the nitrogen and other nutrients that fed those summer vegetables.
Late September through December is the best time of year to install a permanent, drought-tolerant landscape, and now is the best time to plan it. Many people are aware that the “traditional landscape” of lush green lawn with rosebushes and manicured shrubs was developed in England and regions of France that get more than twice the rainfall we normally do. While a typical lawn in our area requires about 57 inches of water each year, South County only receives about 21 inches on average. So whether your source of water is a well or the Sierra snowpack, this is not a sustainable landscape long- term, even if we do get a wetter winter than last year.
Whether you have a green thumb or you’d like to grow one, the Master Gardeners can help. On Aug. 11, Joan Cloutier, Master Gardener and library coordinator for the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, presented an educational talk at the Gilroy library on growing cool season vegetables.
The Gilroy Demonstration Garden will hold an organic vegetable seedling sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the garden, located on Eigleberry Street between Sixth and Seventh streets in downtown Gilroy.