In Search of the Lean Six Life

Smarter, not harder. Preferrably A LOT smarter.

Garden End, Winter 2018-2019

3 Comments

In the face of arctic cold, with snow blanketing the ground, I brought my 2018 – 2019 winter garden to a close.

This year, I coddled three different beds with a variety of cold-hardy crops, all the way into mid-January. We’ve never made it this long.

In exchange for my diligence in covering the beds when the cold- threatened, and peeling back the protective layers when the sun returned, yesterday I harvested:

  • Several small daikon radishes
  • Broccoli rabe
  • A singular carrot
  • Two parsnips
  • A variety of kale and chard leaves
  • Three small cabbages
  • More salsify than I know how to use
  • A few random hakurei turnips
  • A teensy little spinach

Winter gardening lessons I learned this year:

  • These crops all survived when temps unexpectedly dropped into the nid-20s one night. The straw tucked around them kept them alive even though the beds were exposed. (The forecast only called for lows around freezing… that’s what I get for believing the weathermen.)
  • Temps in the upper 20s / low 30s barely phased these plants.
  • Daikon radishes and hakurei turnips actually germinated and grew despite the cold.
  • I need to plant only in the centers of the boxes because the soil freezes at the sides.
  • I need to invest in better cold frames and low tunnels.
  • Winter gardening is tricky because most cold weather plants won’t germinate in the summer heat; but by the time it’s cold enough to germinate, it’s too late for them to reach a decent size to survive into the winter months.
  • I hope I like salsify! I planted it because I couldn’t find any grocery stores that carried it – now I have a ton of it! And by a ton, I mean around a pound. Which is a lot when you don’t know how a vegetable tastes!

3 thoughts on “Garden End, Winter 2018-2019

  1. I grew up eating salsify! Peeled, cut into coins and cooked with a bit of butter, salt and water to cover until tender. Then add milk, pepper and maybe more butter for a delicious soup. I grew up thinking that this was “oyster stew!” Or cook as described above, drain and mash coarsely. Add an egg, pepper and enough cracker crumbs to make them into a patty. Brown in butter! Delicious! I’m envious of your crop!

  2. Pingback: Salsify Bisque | In Search of the Lean Six Life

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