opabinia51
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Winter Vegetables

If you haven't already started your winter vegetable seeds, now is definately the time to do it. Verging on to late late but, if you get your seeds in now (Aug16) you should be okay.

August is also the time to look around local nurseries for sets or winter vegetables. My local organic nursery (The Garden Path) has a winter plant sale from August 25 to Septemer 4th (or around the 4th). Anyway, the point being that already started plants should be in the ground by the beginning of september such that the roots and develop.

I planted Kohlrabi, Red Kale, Green Kale, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Perpetual Spinach and... something else in July. I will be buying a purple variety of Cauliflower and some other neat stuff at the plant sale.

Ask around your area to see if there are any nifty plant sales in your neck of the woods and be sure to post them in this thread.

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I need to get seeds - but I think the DH will have to get them for me! I can stand up long enough to get a few started in my little yogurt containers at a time.

I intend to plant lots of spinach, some greenleaf lettuce, romaine and I'm sure DH will want collards and broccoli.

If you are in Florida: Don't plant the above until the last week of september.The first two weeks of October are not so bad for those either. Now is a good time to start your winter crop of tomatoes, onions, eggplant and corn. The leafy plants like cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, lettuces, cabbage and spinach can handle Florida winters very easily, but don't care for that still-intense September sun.

opabinia51
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Wow, tomatoes and corn in winter. That would be great. Well, up here we pull our winter vegetables out of a dusting of snow. It provides a healthy insulatory effect.

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Ahh, I love the diversity of our mods... 8)

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Okay - you can stop rubbing it in guys - the only "winter" vegetable I have is the grown parsnips I leave in the ground over winter to sweeten - under much more than a "dusting" of snow!! :lol:
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Opa, if if makes you feel any better, the corn has to be harvested before mid to late November - before the first good cold snap (40 degrees!).

Sorry Val. If it makes you feel any better, I'm now in a zone where corn is grown once - in the spring/ summer. Tomatoes - I'm planning to experiment and see how long I can keep them growing next year - if I keep planting new ones each month how long will the season last?

Oh one more thing for the Florida folks: no matter what you hear, don't bother planting carrots as a winter crop. They don't grow until the weather heats up in early Spring. I planted some in October and didn't get to harvest them until March the year I tried it. You're better off planting them the first week of February.

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I can only speak for my own climate here, but other vegetables which I can personally grow over our winters (yes, snow included along with heavy frosts) are the brassica family and silver beet.

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NZ, do you do the Brassicas for greens?

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Everything freezes too solid here so nothing survives. I'm not even really sure why the parsnip thing works, but they're sure better when left in for winter! :wink:
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Grey
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Val it may be for the same or similar reason as grapes for Eiswein are best if hit by a hard frost. A theory, anyway.

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You might be right, leaving the parsnips in over winter makes them so much sweeter and mild than harvesting them earlier. So it does sound sort of the same! :o

By the way, I'm glad to hear your back is doing better - no where to go but up! :wink:
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Boy, this is a great thread! Such a diversity of climates and gardening regimes to suit the climates.

I hear you Val, -40 degrees C is pretty darn cold. Brrrrrr. And all that snow you have up there. Actually, the snow will actually provide an insulating layer for any plants (like your parsnips). Have you ever tried some brassicas such as Broccoli or collards?

Oh and Grey, no worries. I wasn't at all insulted or miffed or anything. I just think that it is neat and not to mention great that you can grow such vegetables that late into the year.

The winter vegetables that I planted from seed (and the ones that I planted from early seedlings) are all doing great! I look forward to eating healthy vegetables all winter long now!

Incidentally, anyone from Victoria, BC who is reading this thread. The winter plant sale at The Gardening Path starts on Aug 25.

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Actually, I have tried to grow both brassicas (broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts), through winter, but all they did was freeze solid, have the plant melt off in the spring, (the plant, not just the snow and ice) :lol: and then begin to grow from the root again. I found that the ones that regrew in the spring, were not as good as the first crop, so have not done it again.

That's okay though, I've gotten used to the cycle, and actually look forward to a bit of a break, so I can read all my catalogues and books, and plan for next year! :wink:
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Val, thanks for the mental kick in the pants. When I think Brassica, I think mustrd right away, hence the inquiry to NZG, who is no doubt thinking why is that twit talking about greens when I'm growing cruciforms? :roll:

But there ARE some good greens in the mix...

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That's true, but I am sure that up here, they would freeze and melt just the same! Just a fact of life up here. You all can just keep on gardenin' through the winter, and I'll just sit up here with my feet up readin'! :lol:
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Seed catalogs, I presume :lol:

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But of course! I just assumed that needed no explanation! Is there any other kind? :lol:
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opabinia51
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C'est la vie. That's why I like living down here on the coast. The ocean provides a nice buffer to keep the temperatures up in the winter and down in the summer.

I would choose to never have a place on the water though, due to the tomatoe blight that people seem to suffer from. And I love growing my tomatoes way to much.

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I love this site! I just signed on to ask a question about Fall/Winter veggies, but lo and behold, there's already an informative thread addressing my question! Opa, I know you said it's almost too late to put in the winter plants, but do you think that's the same case for Northern Virginia? This is my first year growing vegetables and I didn't even start thinking about a Fall crop until just this morning.

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I'm not sure what the climate is like in Northern Virginia so, I can't comment on starting seeds this late in the game. You could try some Brassica seeds and they should do fine provided that you don't have a fall that is to harsh.

However it is not to late to plant sets of plants. Look around your local nurseries (and you can look at the big box stores as well) for plant sets. I know that there is a winter plant sale starting Aug 25 at one of the local nurseries here.

Good luck! :)

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The Helpful Gardener wrote:NZ, do you do the Brassicas for greens?
I grow them for their crop, and the remaining plant waste gets fed to either pigs or chickens.

Apparently, although I've never tried, the whole plant of the brassica (broccoli/cauli etc) can be cooked and eaten - leaves and trunk included. I'd have assumed it would be bitter tasting.

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The trunk of the broccoli, once peeled of it's outer skin, is very tender and tasty! :o
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The trunks (as or the florets and stems) are also loaded with nutrients. Very good for you (or alternatively, as compost or animal feed: very nutrtious).

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I'm with Opa, not a taste thing at all; it's the texture (unpeeled it's like eating wood...)

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I didn't know that about the broccoli Val (peelin the trunk). Thanks, i just mite try that. Until now i've used the remains just for compost. My preferred produce are: Tomatoes, Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Rhubarb & Potatoes. These are the main veg circulating my area and thankfully co-incidentally my favourites :)

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You'll enjoy the stem of the broccoli peeled - it's very tender and sweet. Of course it is woodier where it was closer to the main plant. Hope you like it! :wink:
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Alriiiiite.. one up for the kitchen table! :) lol

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Did someone say dinner? :D

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opabinia51
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Dinner? Who said dinner?

No really, (where was I going with this?) oh yeah! Yes, I think my above statement was misinterpreted. When I said that broccoli stems are great in the compost, I didn't mean that this was the only place that they should go.

I often eat the stems. And don't forget the leaves! They are loaded with nutrients as well. Actually, my broccoli plants have been slow to sprout this year and I've been mainly eating the leaves and whatever florets that manage to peak through. Very tasty. And VERY nutritious.


(And yes, the compost loves it as well :wink: )

Speaking of dinner; my dinners have included a spattering of my heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, greans and home made salad dressings for a salad. And of course, every night I eat broccoli leaves and a few florets as well as my heirloom potoes at least once a week.

Usually goes, Rice (lasts me 2 to 3 nights), potatoes(usually lasts just one night) and finally Quinoa (which I was surprised to find out last night belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Crazy.

Basically, that means that I have tomatoes, Quinoa and potatoes in my dinners and they are all Solanaceous plants.

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