Cold Weather Crops
by RidgeView | September 24, 2014
If you have a vegetable garden you’ve likely spent the past couple of weekends harvesting & processing. Tomato sauce, pickled peppers and just regular ol’ dill pickles are some of my personal favourites. It’s sad seeing the plants mostly bare now that they’ve been picked so as consolation we begin to plot the next phase of our garden and cold weather crops.
The jury’s still out on wether or not we can expect another brutal winter. The Farmer’s Almanac saying we’re headed for wicked cold and Environment Canada forecasting a more moderate wintertime. We mention the forecast as even the most hardy of veggies will not do well buried under several feet of snow.
With the summer season veggies out of the way your garden soil is probably a little deficient. Pull out any remaining roots and work in an organic compost material. Plant your veggies as you would a summer season crop in nice even rows, this makes covering a lot easier in case of earlier frosts. They’ll need a similar amount of watering as during the summer, with the rule of 1 inch per week still ringing true. Covering can come in several different methods as simple as an old sheet, or as elaborate as hoop house or cloche. Here are some great instructional videos that describe the construction of hoop houses & cloches.
How to make a hoop house
How to make a cloche
Here are some great crops to try in your garden;
Arugula & Lettuce – fast producing, great for the instant gratification gardeners out there. Baby lettuces are wonderful as they mature even faster.
Broccoli & Cauliflower – light frosts are ok for these plants making the florets even sweeter!
Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Kale & Spinach these are the hardiest of cold season plants an could grow right through the season if kept in a hoop house or cloche. Left out they can grow until december.
Carrots, beets and fennel – you might need to pick them when still a little small but their size but will be big in flavour
Onions & Garlic – like tulips these bulbs you plant now and see results in early spring
Radishes – winter radishes require 50 to 60 days to reach harvest. They are ready for harvest when roots reach 1 inch across
Cilantro so delicious, it adds that je ne sais quoi flavour to curries, salsas, slaws and more!!
Potatoes – bury them deep with layers of mulch or hay and pack your patience, you won’t see much until spring