From The Winter Garden

by Daisy on 01/01/2013

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Helping keep the winter doldrums away are the winter-hardy greens we continue to harvest from the garden in spite of temps down in the 20’s.

We harvest enough for a couple of hearty salads every evening.  In the photo are pictured raddichio, arugula, red leaf lettuce, and mache.

They’re all shrugging off the cold without any protection from cold frames or row covers.  The first time I saw my garden covered in frost was a disheartening sight, but after I became used to the fact that, once the frost was gone, everything made it through pretty much unscathed, I learned to relax. If you live where it gets colder and windier than our zone 8, a protective frost blanket may be all you need to have greens like these in January, too.

Also toughing it out through the winter in our garden are collards, mustard greens, garlic, snow pea seedlings, and little spinach seedlings.  The spinach isn’t big enough to harvest, but I expect it to have a jump start on the growing season soon after Valentine’s Day.  Ditto the snow peas.  I ordered seeds today (from, my favorite) and was sure to include lots of goodies that are proven to overwinter.  I’ll start those late summer/early fall/into mid-fall and hopefully harvest them throughout the fall this year and winter next year.

Some of the reportedly tried and true overwinter harvest plants I am looking forward to, in addition to the ones above, are:

  • minutina
  • carrots
  • claytonia
  • Rouge d’hiver and Winter Wonderland lettuce
  • Pan di Zucchero chicory
  • Endive

Winter is TOO LONG for me to go without nutritious, fresh garden greens.  Particularly since this is when everyone seems to get sick.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Winnie January 2, 2013 at 1:25 am

How wonderful it is to harvest from your own garden for your salads !
Have a wonderful New Year

patti bell January 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Enjoy your blog. Wondering where (State) you live to have such wonderful greens in this cold weather. I am in South AL and sometimes have luck and sometimes not. Thanks.

Joellen Watkins January 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I’ve not tried this, but, you give me inspiration to try! Thank you!

Daisy January 6, 2013 at 8:24 am

patti bell–Thank you. We’re in TN. I imagine in So.AL you could garden nearly year ’round. I guess it still freezes there, too, though.

Sensible gardening January 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

With a fresh foot of snow over the garden patch I don’t think anything will help me to get fresh greens right now. You are fortunate to have a garden year round.

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