Category Archives: Winter Gardening

Some Cabbage Heads, Some Cabbage Bolts

It must be the crazy winters down south.  The temperature variations must throw the cabbage plants off.  This past winter started out with an early frozen blast, then was mild for most of the winter and then ended in another frozen blast. I get my thrills starting my cabbages and broccoli from seed.  Due to lack of garden space, I planted these in the tomato bed after the toms died out for the summer.  Both of these are early cabbages.  I would like to grow late cabbage, but it takes an additional Read more [...]

A Final Peek Under The Hoops

Time to take the plastic off. This pic shows kale on the left side.  My notes read 'Vates Kale', but I didn't note the seed vender.  I like this kale.  A few carrots are in the very front right side.  The empty space after the carrots is where spinach was planted.  Under all 3 of my hoops this past winter, I had a real problem with aphids.  They, of course, never freeze out under the hoops - nothing freezes under the hoop.  A bit further back, with the red stems, are Detroit beets.  I don't Read more [...]

A Peek Under The Hoop

This is a quick peek under one of my 3 hoop gardens.  This one has broccoli at the front - this is the same broccoli that had the initial problem with downy mildew.  After a few treatments - discussed in a previous post - the plants seem small, but no sign of mildew.  These plants now have tiny heads - hopefully they will grow into big, harvest-able heads. Midway back on the right side, in front of more broccoli, is bok choy.  Then there is broccoli, and spinach behind the broccoli.  On the Read more [...]

Brassica Seedlings

Time to get the broccoli and cabbages started and in the ground.  This is usually a difficult thing for me because it is usually so hot until about the end of September and then it can cool down quickly and I just have a hard time trying to get cole crops started when it is so hot.  This is just something that I have to work on, having the discipline to start seedlings when the charts say to. Today I started planting the largest of my cabbage seedlings.  A few days ago I started planting broccoli Read more [...]

Swiss Chard

Last October, I planted Luculus Swiss Chard. (The seeds were from 2009 - still germinated very well).   It didn't grow particularly well thru the very cold winter.  This spring it took off and for the past month or so I have been drying a load or 2 each day.  Swiss chard is a cooler weather plant and I can see some of the plants starting to bolt.  I can see different styles of leaves and have chosen the plants that I want to let go to seed - plants that have very large, wrinkled leaves, shorter Read more [...]

Chard, Chard, Chard – What To DoWith All This Chard

Time is running out on this chard.  It will probably still be good for another month or so until it gets too hot.  I have been drying 2 batches of chard a day for the past few weeks.  When I cut out the thick stems, it only takes about 2 to 2 and a half hours at lowest temperature - about 105 to 110 degrees - to dry the leaves. This bed of chard was planted last fall and lived under a plastic greenhouse covering - the gray supports can still be seen (they have since been removed and put up Read more [...]

Carrots – Which Variety Do I Prefer?

This past winter growing season, being my first time to grow crops under a hoop garden, I tried 2 varieties of carrots - Scarlet Nantes and Autumn King. Scarlet Nantes are on the left and Autumn King are on the right.  The Autumn King grew larger and looked more orange.  The Scarlet Nantes were a paler orange and overall the carrots were smaller.  There was not a discernible difference in taste between the 2 varieties.  They are both heirloom varieties. These carrots were planted in beds Read more [...]

Drying Kale

I grew 2 varieties of Kale, Blue Curled Scotch Kale and Dwarf Blue Curled Vates Strain. Blue Curled Scotch kale has larger, softer leaves and dried in a few hours with the dehydrator set between 105 and 110 degrees.  You can see the leaves on the dryer shelf.  The stems, however, do NOT dry.  The stems remained soft and moist,   so I crumbled the dry leaves off of the stems.  The few thin stems that dried were stiff like thin toothpicks - I don't really want that stuff in my kale leaves.  Read more [...]

Under the Hoops

This is the first winter that I have had a covered hoop garden.  A few posts ago, you can see the garden beds with the hoops in place.  The hoops are 10' under ground gray conduit.  About a dollar and a half each, not bad. They are secured into the ground with a 2' section of 3/8" rebar, cut to 2' sections and pounded half way into the ground. The tent is a 24' section of thicker plastic from Lowes.  It was a 100' roll that cost $40 something.  I cut it into 4 sections, allowing about 4' to Read more [...]