Posted on: November 23, 2015 | Written By: Doug Oster |
As the sun rose, the hinged plastic skylights which cover the kale, lettuce and mustard greens in the coldframe were pure white, frozen from temperatures dipping to the 20’s.
I can’t remember when the first arrived this late in the season. Although unprotected tender plants can’t take the cold, I’m going to enjoy flowers and vegetables well into winter.
Now that the impatiens are finally gone, their containers can be filled with pansies and violas which love cold weather. They are happiest growing in pots close to the house where they receive a little protection. Keep them watered, that will help them survive the coldest temperatures. Depending on the winter, most should survive until spring.
But it’s the greens that give me the greatest garden thrill. Lettuce, endive, mustard, kale, collards and more are either in a coldframe or under floating row covers.
It’s so fun to be able to pick from the garden through the holidays. If you don’t have anything in the garden, think about trying this in the early spring. The floating row cover is easy to find at most nurseries, inexpensive and can be used for several seasons.
Purple kohlrabi, kale and collards are staples of the winter garden and actually get sweeter after a frost. Gardeners could get a way with planting them this late with protection.
Dandelions are one of my favorites. They are highly nutritious, tender but a little bitter. I’ve grown a cultivated variety from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds called ‘Italiko Rosso.’ It’s not only beautiful, it’s tough and tasty.
Don’t let cold weather stop you from gardening, pick the right plants and enjoy them through the winter.