|Garden late September|
|New kale bed next to |
rutabagas and coon-
When it comes to growing for the winter months, when they tell you to start in mid-July, well for some things, they really do mean mid-July. So that's what I did. This summer was also one of our hotter summers, so there was that challenge. How do you keep cool weather crop seedlings cool in the hottest part of the year?
collards, and kale
How long the food lasts will be the ultimate test of how well I did. I'm hoping that by growing copious quantities of greens of various kinds, I'll be able to make the root vegetables last longer. And, I'm hoping that each of my sections has enough to last at least a month. This is going to be very hard to do if we eat vegetables with every meal, and we do. Fortunately, a few of the root vegetables have tops that can be eaten as well, like beets, kohlrabi, and rutabagas, so that will help. I do not recommend eating carrot tops, no matter what that irresponsible idiot you see on the internet or TV who says you can. Carrot tops contain alkaloids and if you get enough of them you can poison yourself. Not a good idea.
We've started eating some of the greens already. I have a few more store bought vegetables in the fridge and I'm trying to put off both going back to the grocery store and harvesting stuff out of the garden. But where I can make the store bought stuff last a little longer by helping it out with some homegrown, I am. At some point, I'll dig up the volunteer Italian chard (actually Verde de Taglio from Franchi) and replant it in the hoop house, with the hope that it survives the transplanting. If I don't, it'll die in the first frost anyway, so I may as well try it.
If you've been struggling with getting a winter garden in, I hope my success and methods give you more hope and some solid ideas for getting around the heat in summer so that you can make it happen for yourself.
I have to say though, that finally getting one going is a really huge step for us in the quest for a year-round garden. Maybe eventually, I really will learn how to feed us from the back yard.
That is the goal, after all.