Friday, September 3, 2010

The Summer Garden Ends - The Fall/Winter Garden Begins!

Having gardened in the north for many years, I am still slightly amazed that I can plant a fall/winter garden that brings us as much delicious food as the spring/summer plantings. The faded and ragged tomatoes and peppers have been pulled - with the exception of the valiant 'Whopper" tomato, which will continue producing tomatoes until frost.  With a bit of protection, the raised veggie beds are going to be producing lots of happy green vegetables all winter. 

What's in the beds?  Well, there are now 20 plants of Bright Lights and Ruby Red chard in the first raised bed, accompanied by 27 lettuce starts (a combination of Buttercrunch and Red Ruffles).  In between those rows, I'll be sowing seeds of Little Caesar, my favorite winter-hardy romaine, which forms very compact, dense lettuce heads - each perfect for a salad for two.

The second raised bed holds 18 cabbage plants: Savoy and Early Jersey Wakefield.  This is insanity, probably, but in the winter I love, love a big tureen of cole cannon -- I am an Irish girl by nature! Here's a sample recipe:  Col Cannon at

The 3rd raised bed is 18 plants of broccoli.  We really do eat broccoli.  A lot.
For a vegetable that kids seem to universally hate -- well, I'm not sure most kids love strongly flavored green veggies much -- until they get a bit older, broccoli has certainly taken the restaurant business by storm.  I suspect that, after potatoes, it's the most popular restaurant vegetable in the U.S. 

And, finally, the 4th bed is already started in onions and garlic, both the strong, small Italian Red garlic and the huge, mild Elephant Garlic (which isn't really a garlic at all - but who's telling?).

Yum! - Sybil


  1. Sybil,
    Great to hear about your fall/winter garden. I started seeds of chard, kale, carrots, lettuce, and a few others about 2 weeks ago. The chard, kale, and carrots are up, but no luck with any varieties of lettuce. I've kept things well watered, but am wondering if perhaps the temps have been too warm in Newport News and slowed germination of my lettuce. Any thoughts?

  2. Hey, Dave! I've got that light remay row cover over my beds and it has helped enormously. I'll put a post up and show you some photos of my wacky (but effective) setup. My lettuce seeds sometimes sit until they are ready... and come up in cooler weather. Spinach always germinates much faster than lettuce for me. This year I took the easy route and bought starter plants for my chard, kale, cabbage and broccoli. Getting lazy, I guess!


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