Off-Season, Contrarian Gardening

Oftentimes, I get caught up in the “proper” ways to garden, following the practices and traditions of how to maintain particular plants and paying close attention to the needs of seasonal gardening.

This season, though, I made a tiny rebellion. I decided not prune my roses for the winter. The rose plants remain healthy (as my white iceberg roses attest) and I would like to see the results of my letting my roses grow freely and will likely skip my early summer pruning as well.

The tomato plants that I started from seed, grown in containers, toward the end of summer-early autumn, well, they insist on fruiting during these cold days and I will not deny them the chance to grow. And why should I?

I think most gardeners would be delighted to have homegrown tomatoes in the winter! I am quietly waiting for them to mature, with the hope that their flavor will still be good.

Please let me know what off-season crops are in your garden, and any contrarian gardening practices that you have employed with success!

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The non-fruit parts of tomato plants are poisonous if ingested.  More information on toxic plants can be found here:


6 Responses

  1. Well, maybe your free growing roses will be looking absolutely stupendous! Hey, you never know!!! I like to let my okra plnts overwinter if I can, but usually it is just as easy to use the space for something else…because it doesn’t do well in cooler air. My tomatoes are pretty much just starting to put out tomatoes too…gotta let them grow!!! I am looking forward to them so much! Your tomato in pic looks it a Mr. Stripey tomato???

  2. A girl after my own heart!!! I’m with you on this! I say let nature be!

  3. Hi Jane.

    One year I did not cut back my roses, and the next year they were incredibly diseased.

    I decided that they need their rest, just like we need our sleep!

    I make sure I cut them back by end of December. By February (now) my plants are bushed out in leaves and new growth, and I’ll have my first bloom by mid-March.

    I did find an incredible soil conditioner that made my roses explode with blooms this fall (and my soil was 8.0 pH & high salts with no readable nitrogen or phosphorus). I’m using it on my new veggie garden right now.

    Orange County, CA

  4. Hi again…I have been reading back through your blog tonight! Just wanted to tell you that I have a second season of some of my lettuces that had grown through the winter here…now forging ahead in full summer heat…sweltering, humid, stuffiness. It is amazing to me.

    I just planted 3 miniature yellow roses in my tires. I’m not sure what to do with them, but I just went out to snip off the dead heads …I hope this is all I will need to do with the mini rose plants.

    Happy Sunday to you!

    • Hi, Julie,
      Happy Sunday to you also! Such happy news that you are getting a second season of lettuces. I’ve been buying my lettuce this season, much to my chagrin 😦 I will be sure to do better planning next time for lettuce – I eat pounds of it each week. Please do let me know how the miniature roses fare – I’ve never grown them before. Always wonderful to hear from you!

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