I know that over-wintering veggies and other edibles is a science. Someday, maybe I’ll bother to study it and then I won’t find myself wondering in the spring why I bothered.
My tendency is to buy starts in the fall or plant a few seeds, plunk them in the ground on the late side, and then watch it all sit there and do nothing all winter. Then, in the early spring, I spread some mulch, the temps start to warm up, things take off a bit, and then… most of it bolts during the two days I don’t bother to look at the garden.
Chinese mustard, probably on the spicy side when it was tiny – now it would probably singe our tongues off. Might have to look up recipes (alchemies?) for milder-izing it so it doesn’t end up being a total waste. A plus – the slugs ignored it entirely! Undoubtedly too spicy for them too.
Mesclun mix, probably one from Seeds of Change. Slowly, slowly… I think these might be salad-worthy in a couple of weeks.
Russian kale, starting to get a little bigger. Not sure what the ideal leaf length is for a good tasting harvest – I’ll have to hunt around for opinions, or please feel free to offer them here. I need recipes for this one too, but have also enjoyed it as an ornamental if nothing more, the filigreed leaf edges and delicate lavender ribs really get me.
I’m going to straight up admit that I just don’t get how to grow onions of any sort. I am too much of a numbskull to keep track of when they are to be planted and harvested, since it seems off from the rest of the garden. These might have been shallots at some point, they’re probably just compost now. Well, I’ll dig down and see what’s there. Maybe I’ll get a pleasant surprise.
Arugula, my favorite green and my one and only never-fail crop. Just put the seeds in whenever, it seems happy in any of my challenged gardens. A squirrel dug up half of the row and I never got around to re-planting it, but it has the best germination rate of any seed I’ve ever grown, no matter what company I get it from. If it’s all I grew, I would feel pretty invincible!
First volunteer flowers of the season, my trusty violas. Last year it was ‘Ultima Morpho’ that was everywhere, but this one I can’t name and it has been popping up in the parking strip. I don’t usually bother to plant seeds or get starts of these anymore, they seem happy to keep coming back and I (almost) never say no to a free plant.
I had what I thought was a fun idea back in the fall, to plant ‘Bright Lights’ chard starts in a circle at the center of the veggie garden. They would grow tall, I would let them look really sculptural for a while until the peas needed to go in, all would be groovy. Well, between the squirrels rearranging the starts and killing a few, the snows that crushed the smaller plants, and now the cold spring we’ve been having so far, I’m afraid it’s time to pull out these sad little plants that never grew. I’m not going to show a picture, it’s just too pathetic.
What is your experience with over-wintering your veggie garden? Do you plant it up or let it rest? Put in a cover crop or use a cloche? I want to do it better next year or not at all!