Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Two More Beds

We have been having more lows in the 20Fs recently than in the 30Fs. I should have taken out my cabbage last week before it got damaged from the freezes. It was under a row cover, but our temperatures got low enough for it to have a heavy frost underneath. Now it only damaged the outside bits and the inside is fine. What shocked me was that one cabbage was starting to split. In the fall? That is so strange. At least the Gunma cabbage gave me something. Two 2lb heads. It was more than I thought I would get as it was a late cabbage and I thought I put it in too late for it to make anything. The two Early Jersey cabbage were only about one pound each, which is pretty normal as they are small cabbages that can be put closely together. The Brussels sprouts that shared the bed were a lost cause. They ended up in the compost.

I also removed the row cover over the broccoli and chard. I harvested what I could then ripped all of them out. There was a good amount of chard there, but the stems were starting to turn pink. I have a white variety and I think they just can't take the cold weather that well either. The plants aren't new. They were planted in the spring. They gave me a lot over time. The final tally on chard is 56.32 pounds (5.26 lbs/sqft). The finally tally on broccoli is 22.78 pounds (1.07 lbs/sqft). Both were amazing to me. I try to get about a pound per square foot over the whole garden. Things like mustard seed, don't come even near that, but their poor lbs/sqft is made up with things like chard that do over five times that. That is better than my chard has ever done before. But the real shock was the broccoli. I've never had broccoli perform like that. I've always just barely eked out little tiny bits of it. This time it pulled its weight. Needless to say I'm going to grow Fiesta again. I've finally found a broccoli that will grow here. It isn't a pretty broccoli, but it gives a lot and puts out side shoots all summer and fall. Woohoo! I do love broccoli. I grew it even when it gave me small amounts. But this year I even gave some away to my townhouse mates. And my daughter visited during the main broccoli season, and I had plenty for her. It is her favorite vegetable.

Then it was on to the smaller Asian greens bed. I hadn't harvested much of anything but some choy sum and some radishes and turnips. I cleared out half the bed. It is getting cold. I've decided not to put plastic over it this year. I'm going to see how long the row cover lasts. There is not much light getting in, so I really don't think plastic will warm it up all that much. I got three tiny little Chinese cabbage (direct seeded at the start of September so I was happy to have any of it), a bit of tatsoi, and lots of Fun Jen and bok choy. I still have bok choy, turnips, and tatsoi left in the bed. I'll harvest it slowly until it freezes solid here. Then I'll just pick the rest. The tatsoi is pretty good. It can keep pretty fresh even when frozen and dethawed multiple times over the early winter.

The carrot harvest will probably be on Friday morning. At least that is the current plan. On Saturday our nights will get down into the 20s fairly permanently after that. And I need to pick them before the ground freezes. Usually that happens about a week earlier, but this year it gave me more time. Then there won't be much left in the garden. Overwintering garlic, spinach, mache, and kale, and the small bit of Asian greens for December.

So soon I won't have much left to do but put my feet up and read seed catalogs. I was happy to get my first one yesterday. I went through it already and marked a few things. I always order from Fedco, but not always from other places. Their catalog isn't here yet. When it gets here, I'll have to go through all my seeds and see what I really need. Then get serious about placing an order. I like to get my order in at the end of December so my onion seeds will get here in time to start the first seedlings at the end of January.


  1. I am getting ready for company so when I read your two more beds I thought me too! I have too more beds to finish making up for my company! lol You are still getting an amazing amount of things compared to me and I need to take notes! Happy Thanksgiving! Nancy

  2. wow so nice to see some green at this time of the year!