As the saying goes, there’s a time to live; a time to die. There’s a time to sow; and a time to reap. Let’s add to that, there’s a time for broccoli and a time for tomatoes. Well, this time of year is a time for broccoli and a few other veggies that can keep your garden productive until the snow falls (and with proper planning, through the snow).
Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages are great cool weather crops that can also be grown in small spaces. White butterflies lay their eggs on brassica leaves and the voracious, growing worms can quickly decimate crops. A few butterflies may still be around in early fall, but depending on how quickly your area cools, they are much less devastating. Broccoli and cauliflower will grow well until the first frost.
Collards, kale, and chard are not only superfoods, but they are also super hardy. Although greens can succumb to white butterfly damage, they bounce back a lot better than brassicas. During the early days of frost, greens still hold up. With a simple covering, greens can be harvested throughout the winter.
What an awesome little leaf! In the midst of a blizzard, my garden was blanketed with snow. Out of the thick, cold white ground was one sign of life. My lonely spinach plant! It just so happens that I was too lazy to pull out the plant during my fall clean-up. But the little fellow hung in there. The snow may have slowed the growth, but did not kill it. When the snow melted the following spring, the spinach plant was HUGE and healthy!
Lettuces do not handle heat or frost well. Heat causes lettuce to bolt. Just put lettuce in the freezer and see how well it thaws if you want to see if it can make it through the winter. Yuck! However, these plants love the fall rains and are great for small or no containers.
Peas are perfect for the cool fall weather. In my garden, they are the first seeds in the soil. (Sometimes the soil is partly frozen) Not only will peas grow well in this season, but a second benefit is that the peas help to fix nitrogen into the soil…a two-for!
So, don’t think that the welcome of fall means death to the garden. Allow these 5 foods to be the gardens saving grace.
Grow in peace!