By Brian Barth
Virtually all fruiting trees, shrubs and vines can be planted during their winter dormancy as long as the ground isn't frozen. But when it comes to smaller edibles — the sort that can fit in an average garden bed — the options are more limited. The following crops can not only survive being planted while dormant but also thrive.
Plant them as soon as the ground thaws in your area and deep freezes are no longer expected. They can go in the ground about a month before other garden vegetables because you'll be planting them as dormant roots. If you can't find these crops locally at this time of year, purchase them online from a mail-order supplier. It's best to cover them with a two-inch layer of straw mulch after planting to protect the roots in case of an unexpected late freeze. The first leaves will begin to poke through the mulch in early spring.
You can order dormant strawberry plants in winter for much cheaper than you can buy potted ones in spring. Simply bury the spidery roots and leave the leafless tops poking just above the soil. They will produce strawberries for two or three years before replanting is required.
Asparagus is rarely grown from seed and usually planted as dormant "crowns" — a gangly bunch of roots — in late winter. Plant the roots at the bottom of 10-inch-deep trenches, with the buds at the center of each crown pointed upward. Cover with a couple inches of soil, as well as mulch. In spring, remove the mulch and fill in the trenches as the spears grow skyward. They won't be big enough to harvest in the first year, but you won't have to repeat this laborious process again anytime soon because the planting will produce spears for over a decade.
Rhubarb roots look like an intertwined clump of brown carrots. Simply plant them in a shallow hole with the stems at the top, sticking out just above the ground. You can harvest the stems for five years or longer before the crop peters out and must be replanted.
Plant this white fleshy root an inch or two below the soil and it will quickly grow into a massive clump of horseradish. Once established, you can dig a portion of the roots from one side of the plant whenever needed. The clump will soon recover and continue to expand (horseradish can be somewhat invasive, so plant it in a pot or wherever it has room to spread). This perennial crop will produce indefinitely without replanting.
Cut store-bought potatoes into one- to two-inch chunks (choose organic ones because they aren't treated with growth inhibitors), with at least one "eye" on each. Plant them in a six- to eight-inch-deep trench, with the eye facing up. As with asparagus, fill in the soil as they grow. Potatoes are an annual crop that must be replanted each year.
Onions and Garlic
If you're growing these crops from seed, you must wait until spring. However, you'll have a much earlier harvest if you plant them as bulblets — often referred to as "sets" — in late winter. Plant them with the pointy tip even with the surface of the soil. These are annual crops.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
By John R. Platt
The straw-headed bulbul doesn't look like much.
It's less than a foot in length, with subdued brown-and-gold plumage, a black beak and beady red eyes. If you saw one sitting on a branch in front of you, you might not give it a second glance.
Cages line the Malang bird and animal market on Java in 2016. Andrea Kirkby / CC BY-SA 2.0
A kingfisher, looking a little worse for wear, in the Malang bird and animal market in 2016. Andrea Kirkby / CC BY-SA 2.0
- What Does the World Need to Understand About Wildlife Trafficking ... ›
- Brazilian Amazon Has Lost Millions of Wild Animals to Criminal ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Julián García Walther
One morning in January, I found myself 30 feet up a tall metal pole, carrying 66 pounds of aluminum antennas and thick weatherproofed cabling. From this vantage point, I could clearly see the entire Punta Banda Estuary in northwestern Mexico. As I looked through my binoculars, I observed the estuary's sandy bar and extensive mudflats packed with thousands of migratory shorebirds frenetically pecking the mud for food.
There are currently few Motus stations in Mexico, leading to a large information gap. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Red knots and many other shorebirds travel thousands of miles from breeding grounds in the Arctic (left) to nonbreeding grounds in Latin America (right). Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Motus stations require a high vantage point that overlooks estuaries. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Any bird with a transmitter will be picked up if it flies within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of a Motus station. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND<h2>Tagging Birds</h2><p>The stations alone can't detect these animals. The final step, which will happen in the coming months, is to catch birds and tag them. To do this, our team will set up a soft, spring-loaded net called a whoosh net in sandy areas where the red knots rest above the high-tide line. When birds walk past the net, the crew leader will release the trigger, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwMiA2iqVc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">safely trapping the birds with the net</a>.</p>
WhooshNetCapture.MTS<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6440038cdc58961906f5fa164b457688"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vwMiA2iqVc0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The world's oceans and coastal ecosystems can store remarkable amounts of carbon dioxide. But if they're damaged, they can also release massive amounts of emissions back into the atmosphere.
By Kimberly Nicole Pope
During this year's Davos Agenda Week, leaders from the private and public sectors highlighted the urgent need to halt and reverse nature loss. Deliberate action on the interlinked climate and ecological crises to achieve a net-zero, nature-positive economy is paramount. At the same time, these leaders also presented a message of hope: that investing in nature holds the key to ensuring economic and social prosperity and resilience.
- 16 Essential Books About Environmental Justice, Racism and ... ›
- 10 Best Books On Climate Change, According to Activists - EcoWatch ›
- 14 Inspiring New Environmental Books to Read During the ... ›
By Brett Wilkins
While some mainstream environmental organizations welcomed Tuesday's introduction of the CLEAN Future Act in the House of Representatives, progressive green groups warned that the bill falls far short of what's needed to meaningfully tackle the climate crisis—an existential threat they say calls for bolder action like the Green New Deal.
<div id="25965" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6116a1c2b1b913ad51c3ea576f2e196c"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366827205427425289" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">BREAKING: Rep @FrankPallone just released his CLEAN Future Act — which he claims to be an ambitious bill to combat… https://t.co/M7nR0es196</div> — Friends of the Earth (Action) (@Friends of the Earth (Action))<a href="https://twitter.com/foe_us/statuses/1366827205427425289">1614711974.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="189f0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa31bacec80d88b49730e8591de5d26d"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366863402912657416" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">The CLEAN Future Act "fails to grasp the fundamental truth of fighting climate change: We must stop extracting and… https://t.co/yREn6Qx9tn</div> — Food & Water Watch (@Food & Water Watch)<a href="https://twitter.com/foodandwater/statuses/1366863402912657416">1614720605.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Biden Plans to Fight Climate Change in a New Way - EcoWatch ›
- Bipartisan Climate Bill Highlights Forest Restoration, Conservation ... ›