It had been a few weeks since I went out to the garden to check on the garlic I planted last fall. Yesterday, on an unseasonably warm, sunny, end-of-winter day, I went out to take a peek under the layer of leaf mulch and was pleased to find much more than thriving garlic. Take a look.



Last fall I planted 40 cloves of garlic and covered them with a layer of leaves to protect them during the winter. It looks as if they’re thriving, doesn’t it? This is my first attempt at growing garlic. I’ll let you know how it turns out when I harvest them. I’m planning to have a very garlicky dinner party.



I plant my parsley in a window box that’s hung on the fence behind the garden. That way, the rabbits and the chipmunks can’t get to it.



I also plant chives in a window box to keep the critters from snacking on them.



This sage was a complete surprise when I saw it yesterday. I didn’t know it was a perennial. I’m really excited that it’s making its way back.



Last year was the first for oregano, too, and I was thrilled to see it coming back to life.


All of this early growth makes me want to clean the leaves out of the garden and get to work with my spring planting. The weather this week is going to be in the 70s in South Jersey this week. I know that’s just a tease, though. We could still get cold weather — even a little snow. No matter how badly my green thumb is itching, I need to let those leaves stay there for a few more weeks to protect the garden, which is doing just fine right now without my interference.


Have you seen signs of your garden waking up lately?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Signs of life in the garden
A warm winter means the vegetable garden is waking up early. Does that mean it's time to get out there and start planting? Not necessarily.