"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gardening in the Snow

Another dreary, sunless, wet winter afternoon finds me chilled to the bone from hacking away at the snow surrounding our covered garden rows. It has finally warmed up enough that I was able to more easily remove the snowy slop that encompassed them. Up until this point everything has been so frozen solid that I have only bothered to tackle the snow from the ends of each row, thus allowing me limited access to the greens hidden within. So, back inside the warm house with a hot cup of coffee in hand I thought I might take a few minutes to post some pictures and thoughts on gardening in the snow.

During the cold season some plants are actually able to concentrate or increase their sugar content which in turn serves them as a sort of natural antifreeze, helping them to withstand frosty and freezing conditions for extended periods of time. The slower the weather cools off the better the plants are able to acclimatize in this manner. Even people can slowly adjust to cold or heat as our body's make internal adjustments to help compensate...it's really quite fascinating.

Anyway, we are always experimenting with a wide variety of plants that seem to withstand the cold to varying degrees. So far we have a had luck with an amazing amount of different types of greens that we can grow in the cold, often all the way through the frigid months.

Plants like kale, Swiss chard, parsley, boc choy, Bull's Blood beet greens, cress, collard greens, sorrel, various kale, mache, certain mustards, green onions, arugula, oregano, violets, cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, rutabaga greens, salad burnett, spearmint, spinach, chickweed, turnip, kale-rabi, winter density lettuces, chervil, and many diverse varieties of chicory/endive/radicchio make up the winter garden list.

For this winter we focused on some of the very hardiest of the bunch that always perform well for us and have the majority of our winter rows planted in turnip greens, kale, and parsley. This↓row contains parsley, a nutritional powerhouse that is so very much more than just a silly little garnish to be pushed aside before beginning one's meal. We love it so much that we have a 25' row of it that gets picked at/on most days of the year. Parsley is included in almost every meal that we make, raw or cooked.

After over a month of very cold weather that included more than a few days in the negative digits you can quite clearly see how well the parsley and red sorrel have managed these conditions. It is not so much the chilly weather that will wear on these plants but all of the other elements combined such as cold, rain, snow, and wind that tends to break them down on a cellular level much faster than the cold alone. A simple protective cover makes a world of difference.

Included in this year's winter garden is a small section of red celery that, surprisingly, seem to be holding their own so far. These plants will be encouraged to bolt to seed in the spring in order to provide us with enough seed for the next couple years. Giant red is definitely the hardiest celery we grow. The one drawback is that a capricious percentage always seem to bolt during the summer if conditions are not just right, conditions that are all too often hard to consistently achieve...but I do try and we always end up with enough good plants to make them worthwhile to grow.

This row contains a whole lot of young turnip greens and a small section of winter density lettuces, spinach, and red mustard too. Turnip greens are always the first to put out new growth for us, sometimes even in the middle of winter during brief warm spells.

I am using this makeshift cold frame to help protect and overwinter some of our Swiss chard that, like the celery, will be allowed to provide us with new seed.
As an experiment, I have a mixture of different varieties of beets that didn't make the harvest cut under this row cover just to see how readily they will resume growth in the spring...if at all, they look pretty whipped at this point.

"There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination" - Denis Diderot

Two of this year's winter rows contain nothing but kale, my favorite winter green.

We have Lacinato kale, also called Dinosaur kale because of its bumpy textured leaves.

Our very hardy Lacinato Rainbow kale is a cross between Lacinato and Red Bore kale. I hope to grow the Red Bore (hybrid) variety next year if I can find some affordable seeds...dang they're pricey.

Beedy's Camden Kale hibernating in a bed of leaves.

Red and White kale. I have noticed that the younger Russian kale plants perform much, much better than the larger ones in our winter garden, it seemingly has to do with the thickness of the stem. Many of the larger Russian kales seem to be affected by the cold and begin to rot along the trunk while those with smaller stems manage the weather much better. On the other hand, the larger plants that do survive share many more greens with us in the early spring. Quite often, even the large kales that appear to have died out in the cold are able to regrow if their roots have not been damaged. They will then provide us with a good month or more of nice greens before bolting to seed.

And, in saving the best for last, we have what I now believe is perhaps the all around hardiest variety we grow at this time, Dwarf Blue Curled Vates kale. A very nice kale, not only because it is so darn cold hardy but the shorter stature of this particular variety makes it a perfect fit for our row covers. The Red Bore kale seems to be similar in nature which is why I want to include it next season.

Believe it or not, we are able to "gently" pick all of these greens while frozen solid and if they are allowed to thaw at a temperature around 40°...not too warm, you honestly can barely tell that they did not arrive straight out of a summer garden. Of course the main difference is that there are no bugs on them this time of year and their sugar content makes them taste much sweeter.

Gardening is much more than a warm weather activity for us, we can be found on bended knee tending our plants 365 days each year. I often wonder what my neighbors must think when they see me trudging about our gardens in the snow with a bowl in my hands, perhaps they will inquire one of these days...or more likely not, as they no doubt consider us to be a little touched in the head...and maybe we are at that.:)

"The fair-weather gardener, who will do nothing except when the wind and weather and everything else are favorable, is never master of his craft."--Henry Ellacombe


Mrs. Mac said...

Amazing what you can grow under a protective cover! All that green is site for sore winter eyes! My one little tunnel cover collapsed under the weight of the first two big storms .. but when I dug it up .. the chard was sprung up. I'll have to reinforce the support next year. This post is so encouraging.

Bev said...

This is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing your experience with winter gardening. I just love winter greens - so much flavour!

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

Oh goody, I thought you had gone south for the winter - ha! We have been lurking here for about a year now; soaking in all the knowledge we can. We are in P. River (due-north of you). We put up our first "hoophouse" (cattle-panels bent in shape of quonset-hut) and covered with plastic last summer. It collapsed a couple weeks ago under the snow. My fault; my husband works very hard and I (51 yr. old housewife) was supposed to keep it dug out. We had 18 inches before warmth arrived. Now, about eight. We will persevere - we are sure the greens are still growing in there, we just need to prop it up. We especially appreciate these winter posts of yours! Thank you both for your willingness to share. Anna

Mike said...

your posts are packed with valuable information! I need to try some of these things!

granny said...

You have no idea how GOOD that snow looks ,as I sit here swealtering,lol...

Buttons said...

" Men learn while they teach." Seneca
Thank you for sharing your photos are beautiful and you are very informative. I love Kale I have it in my garden under the snow right now. B

Robin said...

Very informative post. How many tunnels do you have?

Mr. H. said...

Mrs. Mac - Yes, we did get quite a bit of snow in November didn't we. With all of this snow cover it would not surprise me a bit if your chard puts out a nice amount of growth in the early spring. Our tunnels are holding up good this year but we did lose a few in the 2008/09 winter. The weather lady says that the Pineapple Express is heading our way, hope your ready for lots of slush.:)

Bev - The greens do have a lot more flavor but my favorite part is that there are no more bugs, especially aphids...a big issue with our summer brassicas. Thanks for your kind words.

Thy Hand - What ever it takes to get a nice bundle of greens in the winter that are not from Mexico or China, you know.:)

Anna - I'm glad you stopped in to say hello.:) We often drive through P. River on the way to the big P. lake...one of our favorite places to pick huckleberries. The snow really does come down in large amounts in your area so it would indeed be a challenge to keep row covers from collapsing. I'm glad that you have enjoyed reading our little blog and don't worry, we will never be heading South...maybe farther north but never south, too many bugs.:)

Mike - I hope you do try some of these things and please feel free to pick my brain anytime you have a question about gardening in this area. We were in Spokane the other day and I could not believe how fast the snow is melting...it is going to be an interesting winter.

Granny - I will send you a big box of snow in exchange for a couple days of sunshine.:)

Buttons - The more I learn about growing our own food the more I realize that I really don't know much at all....and I change my mind about what I think I know about every five minutes. But, like you, I am sure of one thing...kale is great.:)

Robin - This year we have 7 rows scattered all over the place for a total of about 250 row feet. Just enough to keep me busy shoveling snow all winter. Lot's of exercise and nutrition...what could be better.:)

Geni said...

Wow! You are amazing! Because we have mild winter down here (TN), I grow some cold hardy veggies without any protection. Mines are parsley, leek, garlic, spinaches, perpetual swiss chard, corn salad, chickweed (I love this one), and onion chive. By the way, I was surprised at not seeing any garlic or leek which are also very cold-hardy. I use both of them as winter green.

Mr. H. said...

Geni - I love that you are able to grow so many greens in the winter and you are right...I should have added garlic greens to the list as they are so very hardy. We still struggle to grow leeks around here though...even in the summer, one of these days I will get a handle on growing them though.

el said...

Wonderful as usual.

I am doing some outdoor "experiments" this year (read: didn't feel like uprooting them all and sticking them in the greenhouses) with a lot of cole and parsley crops. They're not covered except they're fairly well mulched and, at this point, are covered with a foot of snow.

One thing that I am not seeing in your hoops that I have had a lot of success with is growing young savoyed cabbages and kohlrabi, seeding a row in late Aug. then planting them out (indoors and out) and I find I am able to keep harvesting through the winter. Celeriac too somehow keeps alive in the snow. (And considering how much I hate root cellaring you can see why I think this is handy!)

You're so right about the Russian kales. As long as they're small they make it otherwise their stems explode in the freeze/thaw. And I also consider parsley a food group! Have I given you the par-cel cutting celery? It's a mashup: tastes more like celery, and VERY hardy (more so than the wimpy Italian parsley).

I wish you a nice chilly winter to enjoy it all!

Ayak said...

Your winter crops look fantastic...it must be such hard work in that weather...I don't envy you having to work in the cold but I do envy the results!

Daphne said...

Nice looking greens. There is no way I could use that much parsley. I'm OK with the taste, but wouldn't want it everyday. Kale on the otherhand I could eat everyday. I planted some dwarf curled but the caterpillars really hurt them this fall. They made a comeback but they are small.

Elizabeth said...

Winter gardening in the snow!! Who would have thought? You are amazing. I love to see all of that beautiful kale, we are addicted to raw kale in this household!! Wish I could grow some like that.
I am still trying to get my garden boxes going. It is tough with five chillins here...home all day w/ me. I guess I need to declare a week as our science project and plant my two square foot gardens. Maybe that will be our winter break project. I still have to find a source for rock dust to mix w/ my soil mix. Do you use rock dust?
Peace & Raw Health,

Heiko said...

I've been wanting to grow more kale and pak choi this winter, when I got sidetracked with half my beds slipping down the hillside... The latest rains haven't worsened the damage though and finally we have some sun. We've got someof you Rusian kale surviving as as well as some Siberian kale to plant out as soon as I have found a spot that's still horizontal. Inspiring stuff yours, I must get more organised for winter...

kelli said...

greens galore! i love it. your homestead is my heaven!=)

Sense of Home said...

Coming from a very cold weather climate, I am amazed at the success you have with your winter garden. It sounds like you have spent some time learning what plants work best and we benefit from that knowledge. Who knows maybe next winter I will try a winter garden, I think it would work during one of our mild winters. Of course, you don't know when that would be, but at least I could have fresh veggies for a little longer in the fall. In a normal year our temps are below zero for about 2 weeks in January, I'm sceptical on whether plants could survive that, but I guess I won't know until I try.


johnnydesoto said...

Great post!

Around here we can get away with row cover alone for quite a while. But this year we've had an above normal November followed by an very cold (for the Mid-Atlantic) December. The past week saw highs in the low 30's and nights in the low to mid 20's. Next week is forecast to drop into the teens. My kale is looking limp but still in good shape, the chard is holding its own under the row cover but not as hardy as I hoped. I fear next week might finish it off if I don't cut it. Broccoli Raab is also doing ok under the row cover. I have some winter lettuce and and escarole in a low tunnel that is doing nicely. And champion collards are doing fine under the row cover but not so good out in the open. Surprisingly the wild chicory heads look a little desicated. Winter radishes seem little affected.

You are right about concentration of sugars. Some years ago In discovered that winter gardens are much more interesting than summer gardens flavor-wise. Probably when I started overwintering carrots. A late winter dug carrot is a symphony of crunchy sweet carroty goodness. Its one of the things I now look forward to in March.

Happy Holidays. Peace and Good Will to you, your family, and all your blog friends.

Granola Girl said...

Jules is taking notes on your protective covers. He is getting all geeked out about the idea of being able to build a bunch. We do boxes instead of rows (the soil here isn't great) so he might shoot you an email in the future with questions. :)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I did not know that parsley is frost-hardy. I like the contrast of green and white in the pictures. It seem brassicas is the king of frost-hardy. How nice you can still have so many pickings of fresh stuff in winter.

The Gingerbread House said...

I'm so glad I follow your blog and maybe we both are "touched in the head" :o) I think it's wonderful to be able to grow that many greens in the winter..almost no need to can! I'm hoping to get some row covers next year, hubby has been covering the cabbage every night to give them a chance to "head up" hope they make it. Ginny

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

Welcome to The Touched In The Head Club!!! I'm so glad to see you are getting snow this winter...as you should be! It does make life a bit harder, but you and the Mrs seem to be fairing pretty well. Your Kale is incredible and boy is that a bunch of parsley. Do you juice the parsley? It hardly sounds like you'll get much of a hibernation, but stay warm and rest up. Spring is on the way!!!

Mr. H. said...

El - It will be interesting to hear how your outdoor experiments go. Mulch and a nice blanket of snow should be a nice insulator. It's good to know these things as there is always the slight possibility that plastic might not be so readily available in the future.

We did grow, after seeing yours, parcel celery this year...I really liked it. I did not contemplate it's cold hardiness though so it is buried in the snow right now rather than under one of our row covers.

I will have to do a test one of these years with the Melissa cabbage we just started growing this year and kohlrabi to see just how well they might do. I had a nice 15' section of celeriac planted this year and they refused to bulb up to any worth while degree...darn celeriac. Maybe I will try overwintering a few of them as well sometime. Glad to hear that you are a fan of parsley.:)

Ayak - You should see how pink from cold my hands get, it's too hard to pick with gloves on...brrr. I enjoy being outside in the winter though, it really helps me to appreciate having a nice warm house to come in to.

Daphne - Speaking of a fabulous all around green to grow, Kale is a great choice. We battle with slugs and aphids for our kale but are very fortunate not to have that many issues with caterpillars...I'm so glad.

Elizabeth - I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of work that goes into raising 5 little ones...amazing. We freeze some of our summer kale for soups and such but the vast majority of it is eaten raw in salads...every single day.

We are very fortunate to have a nice sandy loam type soil that I believe contains all of the minerals needed for a healthy garden so I have never used rock dust. I think perhaps between the hoeing, hacking, and rototilling a lot of the small rock particles in our garden get broken up and can be assimilated by the plants.

Heiko - Hopefully you are done with mudslides for the year and will have the opportunity to finish growing out some of that kale. I know you will really like it and would be most curious to see how well it can grow in your milder winter climate. Enjoy that sun and send some my way if you get a chance.:)

Kelli - Oh but that you lived next door so that we could share some of the gardens produce with you...in exchange for some of your great recipes of course.:)

Brenda - I would highly recommend trying the Dwarf Curled Kale, Seven Top turnip greens, salad burnett, and curled parsley. We often have a week or more of temperatures well below zero and just had about 4 days like that in November. Usually the first part of January is when we experience a week or two of very cold weather just like you do. You would be amazed at how adaptable some of these plants are if they can be kept under cover.

Johnny - The winter garden definitely comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. I like hearing about what you are growing under cover. We have been saving our own Russian kale for many years now and my hope is that over time it will become more well adjusted to our environment...we shall see.

You are so right about the carrots, the ones that I have forgotten and are found in the spring are so flavorful...wish I could leave them all in the ground but between the mice, voles, and snow it is just not an option for us at this time.

Hope you and yours also have a most wonderful holiday season.:)

Mr. H. said...

Granola Girl - You are always more than welcome to pick at my little brain for any information I might be able to share on gardening.:) If the move goes as planned perhaps you will be able to take up container gardening, it is amazing how much produce can be stuffed into a few large pots. I once saw a picture of a floating garden growing on a dock in the water too?

Malay-Kadazan girl - Yes, parsley is very adaptable to the cold. We discovered this many years ago and have always been able to over winter it. I'm glad you liked the pictures, it is very hard to take them this time of year as everything is so dark outside.

Ginny - I'm happy to hear that you are enjoying the blog as I am enjoying reading yours as well. It is good to be a little touched in the head...who wants to be normal.:) I hope that your cabbage is able to head up for you. I think you would enjoy keeping some of those wonderful collard greens under a row cover so that they could be had fresh all year. I know that I will be growing more next year...you have inspired me to do so.:)

Diane - I'm a proud member of that club.:) It is really is nice to get some snow as it makes such a great insulator. Our winter greens had a rough time of it without any insulation last year and the year before we had over 100" of snow. I would settle for a happy medium this season.

We do not have a juicer at this time and really enjoy adding the finely diced parsley to our salads and anything else we can think of. You stay warm too and with any luck you will also have a happy medium unlike that massive amount of snow you received last winter.

Extreme Gardener said...

Nice work. We're about to have a thaw and rain here that will probably wipe out our 3-4" of snow. I don't cover anything, so it will be interesting to see how the hardy brassicas take it. So far I'm still harvesting kale out of the snow.
Did I send you any of my hardy Siberian kale? If not, let me know if you want some, it's more hardy than the Red Russian types - I've been (or I should say our winters have been) selecting them for hardiness for 15 years or so.

Mr. H. said...

Extreme Gardener - It has been warming up quite a bit around here as well and all of the snow is starting to melt pretty fast. Of course I would love to try a little of your Siberian kale. After 15 years of selecting that seed I would imagine that it has started to adapt quite well to your environment. I have heard about that variety but never grown it. Thank you.:)

Leigh said...

Wow! I have lamented not getting a hoop house or other covering constructed for our garden this year, but your photos have inspired me to make it a definite "do" next year!

meemsnyc said...

Oh wow, all those greens that you have growing under your row covers is truly remarkable. I am so amazed and totally want to try it next year. What is the temperature reading inside the row cover?

Plant Maps said...

There is an interactive version of the USDA hardiness zone map covering Idaho at http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-idaho-usda-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php

Mr. H. said...

Leigh - That's great, you will definitely appreciate all of the fresh greens that can be had during the winter months.

Meemsnyc - That is a tough question. If the sun is shining the temperatures can be many degrees warmer inside than outside but this time of year, without much sunlight, there is very little difference. When it was -9° out a couple weeks ago it was -9° under the row covers too. They mostly help protect the plants against the cold wind and rain beating them about which damages them much faster than cold alone.

Kumi said...

Very inspiring and I'm learning so much! Our backyard is sadly mostly idle between October and April, except for some garlic. I really need to read up more about winter greens (on your blog) - sounds so good. Thanks for this post!

Oxray Farm said...

I wish my covered beds survived as well as yours did! I need to re-engineer the supports. They got smashed with the heavy snow.

That's amazing though, all those greens. We get very little in the way of green things over winter, I need to start growing frost hardy stuff!

Thanks for the wonderful ideas for next year!!

Peter said...

Very impressive. What zone are you?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey buddy! we've had our hands full lately but wanted to pop in and say WOW! great work on extending the season.. i'm monkeying around with keeping some greens covered. everything is really taking a beating tho with this cold snap. i had some greens over winter and into the spring - and let them bolt. dontcha just love it when nature works?

kitsapFG said...

You really are inspiring with the quality, quantity, and consistency of your food production. If anyone doubts that gardens can be four season in colder climes - your post should convince them. It's really about crop selection, timing, and protection. If you get all three right miracles happen like eating fresh salads when the snow is blizzarding out your back door.

My absolute favorite kale variety is Improved Dwarf Siberian. It is a small stemmed dwarf variety that is miraculously tough in really cold conditions - but has a delicate sweet leaf that is as good in salads as it is for cooking. I grow other varieties too but this one has the lion share of garden space devoted to it.

Your patch of turnips made me feel wistful... I had a very large block planting of turnips as well, but my husband in his zeal to spoil the chickens started raiding it this fall to give them lots of treats and before I realized what was happening he had pretty much wiped out the crop! It was hard to be mad at him because his motives were sweet. ;) As a consequence we have no turnips this winter. I have already warned him not to do that next season!

Anonymous said...

This amount of greens will be enough for the whole winter! It is good thing that your rows did not collapse under the snow and it seems that they are enough protection from cold temperatures.
Very inspirational post!

Mr. H. said...

Kumi - I hope you have the opportunity to grow a few winter greens one of these winters. It's really nice to be able to extend the season on some plants for so long.

Oxray Farm - Sorry about your covers, the snow came down pretty heavy there for a while in November. It really is amazing just how many plants can with stand the winter cold in our area and I hope you do get a chance to try some of them out next year.

Peter - We are right on the line between zone 5 and 6. I treat the garden as if we were well into zone 5 though as every couple years we get some extremely cold weather.

Ohio - You have indeed had your hands full. Did I ever tell you that the very best garden I ever had was planted in a spot where pigs were once raised...best manure in the world for vegetables. Hopefully your greens will will spring forth once the cold lets up and provide you with a few meals before they go on to share their seed.

Laura - I like that - timing, selection, and protection...that really is what it's all about. We continue to try different varieties of kale and learn a little more each year about what does best for us. I think that I will have to try that Siberian kale...not sure how I have missed out on it all these years.

So sorry about your turnip greens, at least you will still get some of their nutrients through the eggs that you eat...I think you said 38 eggs this past week...wow. Whenever I go out to pick a slad I usually have two bowls with me, one for us and another for less than perfect greens for the chickens.

Vrtlarica - Yes, with any luck and if I am diligent in keeping the heavy snow off of our row covers we should be eating these same greens well into spring. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and hope your greenhouse greens are doing well too.

Ferris Jay said...

Hi, just found your blog today. I'm in the UK - a similar climate to yours, I think.
It's great to see you're able to grow so much under cover.
This year I'm only growing on a micro level, but I have red curly kale, garlic and leeks that are doing well outdoors and mizuna, curly parsley, lettuces and pak choi which have, surprisingly survived really well (despite unseasonal conditions of prolonged snow)in a mini plastic covered greenhouse.

I do love a taste of fresh greens in the winter .. and I'm hoping for some nice leaves of overwintered spinach in the spring.

Hope your hands aren't too cold from all the snowy gardening XX

Anonymous said...

I love reading about snowy winter gardens!!

I have had the same experience with the Russian kales - that they survive better as small plantes than large. But I have also noticed that they take off quickest when the days get longer, leaving the Euro-kales behind.

The Russian kales also seem to have less winter kill. Often the Euro-kale stems succumb to disease though the leaves look nice.

We've grown a fair amount of Redbor kale over the years, and they sometimes get to 3ft tall!


Mr. H. said...

Ferris Jay - It's very nice to meet you and to hear from another gardener that is experimenting with winter crops. I think that you are right and our climates are very similar. A few of my favorite gardening books were written by UK authors. Stay warm.:)

Mr. H. said...

Goingtoseed - I am really enjoying hearing other peoples observations on these cold hardy plants. I noticed just yesterday that some of the young Russian kale plants that were left out under the snow have started to poke through as a few days of warm weather has allowed the snow to recede a bit...and they look just fine.

Well, I hope to try the Redbore but hope I can time it well enough so that it does not get too tall...3 feet is about as tall as my row covers can handle. Maybe I should attempt to cross them with the dwarf curled kale...now that might make for an interesting variation.:)

6512 and growing said...

That is super impressive! What good eating you'll be doing all winter! We've got some very pokey spinach and cilantro looking for sun under a coldframe. I think it'll be until late February that they really take off.

Mr. H. said...

6512 and growing - We do the same with our spinach. It usually goes into winter pretty small and starts to grow sometime in February. I have never tried to over winter cilantro, I'll make sure to try that next year. I hope the plants in your coldframe do well for you. Stay warm.:)

cabby415 said...

I have not been to my P.O. Box in weeks and was surprised when I saw the little pack you sent me, thanks so much! cannot wait to try the golden nugget. I truly love your blog about your garden and now I will have a tiny piece of your garden growing in my own plot- thanks again : )

Mr. H. said...

Cabby415 - That's great, I hope they do well for you and think you will like them. They are a very nice compact plant and we just love the flavor of the squash...they store well too.:)

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Such inspiration!

Mr. H. said...

Vegetable Garden Cook - Thank you. The weather has gone from the negative digits up to almost 40° and now we are heading back into the negative digits. This will surely test the hardiness of everything we have undercover this season.

foodgardenkitchen said...

I'm amazed at how good your plants look under the cover. I had no idea that parsley was at all cold-hardy. Do you know if it's most varieties?

Thanks for an informative post!

Mr. H. said...

Foodgardenkitchen - We have not experimented with very many varieties of parsley and mostly grow the curled leafed parsley. I do plan on trying to overwinter some of the flat leafed varieties this next year though. We have just had 4 days during which the nightime temperatures have been in the negative digits and I was able to pick a nice amount of perfectly good parsley this afternoon. It was frozen solid but thawed out nicely...a very cold hardy green to be sure.

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