plainsman50
Full Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:23 am
Location: Northwest Texas

Frost tolerance of fall greens

I'm pretty new here, but I wanted to report on the frost tolerance of my fall greens.

Planting Date: August 23
Protection: Straw Mulch, otherwise in open ground with a lot of wind exposure.

Low: Severely damaged at 28F and pulled after repeated freezes down to 22F: Tendergreens, Rapini, Bok Choi, Red Mustard, and Jericho Lettuce

Moderate: Survived 22F: Rouge d'Hiver lettuce (but very bitter)

High: Survived 22F with no damage: Red Russian Kale and Perpetual Spinach Beet ( a smooth leafed chard). They are damaged, but may produce additional cuttings of greens after the early week freeze that saw 66 consecutive hours below freezing and low of 11F.

By the way, my overwintering planting, done in late September, of seedling onions and spinach and garlic and shallots from bulbs looks great.

How are your fall plantings going?
USDA Zone 7, AHS Heat Zone 8/9, Sunset Zone 10, Altitude 3,035', Average Annual Rainfall 20", Ecoregion Llano Estacado

plainsman50
Full Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:23 am
Location: Northwest Texas

I thought I really liked garlic. The 50' of row I grow, supplies me for a year.

Odd, about the carrots. I don't know why they would stop, unles its the frosty nights.
USDA Zone 7, AHS Heat Zone 8/9, Sunset Zone 10, Altitude 3,035', Average Annual Rainfall 20", Ecoregion Llano Estacado

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digitS'
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Posts: 3580
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: ID/Wa! border

Plainsman, I hope that it is okay to drift a little off topic. I don't sow seed to overwinter greens in the garden but I wanted to comment on your selections.

I should admit to having Scotch kale that survives but it isn't made use of come spring. A few bok choy and mustard plants may survive our sub-zero winters but no one would be interested in bringing the severely damaged plants into the kitchen. I always forget to sow spinach seed late so that the seedlings can take off early in the new growing season.

What is growing out there as tiny seedlings is Purple Orache. For about 10 years, I have left a plant in some out-of-the-way corner where it can live thru the growing season and produce seeds. It requires hard thinning come spring but the seedlings transplant well and the orache will be my first greens crop for the new year :) . Orache is a spinach relative and tender enuf for use in a salad.

The Perpetual Spinach, which as you say is a beet/chard, is a good choice as a summer green. Baby beets are a favorite and I've got lots of greens of various brassicas early in the season. Perpetual Spinach is what I will have after the heat of summer takes over. Since it is a biennial, it makes little sense to expect anything from 11 or 12 month old plants other than that they are interested in going to seed. Still, sowing seed late seems like a good plan - if those plants can survive your winters.

Your localized climate information in your signature is a good thing. All gardening is local. What your neighbors are doing is most relevant to what you can expect. It is good to have you here reporting on your overwintering experiences, however. Even here, several thousand miles from your gardening, I'm expecting to learn something useful :wink: .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

plainsman50
Full Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:23 am
Location: Northwest Texas

Steve,

I appreciate the direction the thread turned.

While the kale and perpetual spinach beet will survive the winter here, they will be goat food by then. Also, I will need the space for onion transplants the first week of March.

Peprpetual spinach beet has amazing heat tolerance. The spring planting furrnished me with high quality greens through July, went dormant in August, and resprouted and grew vigorously with the onset of cooler weather in September. And this was, by far, the hottest summer on record at this location.

Also, thanks for the heads up on the orache; I will give it a try.
USDA Zone 7, AHS Heat Zone 8/9, Sunset Zone 10, Altitude 3,035', Average Annual Rainfall 20", Ecoregion Llano Estacado

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