Win a copy of Homegrown Linen this week in the Plant Fibers forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Carla Burke
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

Some interesting observations from a beginner gardener

 
Posts: 128
21
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Made a few interesting observations as a beginner gardener last year.

1) The first frost date came about 1 month late here in Oklahoma.  Instead of Nov 3 it was Nov 30.  (Climate chnage?)

2) I just made guacamole this morning on January 19 2021, with cilantro that was planted back in the summer. Wow it sure is winter hearty!  It tastes good too not bitter.

3)All my kale plants are thriving even after many days over winter in the 20's (F).   What would happen if I just let them stay there, would they be good for another year? Or do I need to pull them at some point and plant new seed?

 
gardener
Posts: 1982
Location: South of Capricorn
780
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yay for first year gardeners!! Your accumulation of knowledge has already begun!

1) frost dates are predictions, and as a weather prediction can be pretty unreliable. That said, everyone I know lately all over the place has been having increasingly extreme weather. Hot weather is hotter than usual, cold is colder, storms are stronger, droughts are longer, etc. I know in my zone we had a 6 month drought (first time in 100 years, supposedly) and now it`s been raining crazy volumes for weeks. It is midsummer here and I've planted okra at least five times and they simply refused to grow until the last wave-- by now we should be drowning in okra but my plants literally have two leaves and are ankle-high. The only safe assumption is that things will stay weird, I think. I know every year I like to take notes about what did well and what had trouble, and then look at the long-term forecast to decide what to plant. Even general phenomena like El Niño (or here this year, La Niña bringing us all this rain-- I saw that it was predicted and I planted mildew-prone stuff early in the season so I could rip it out early if it got moldy, which it did). Stay flexible!

2) Cilantro can go for a good long time if it doesn't bolt. Enjoy it while you can!! (even bolted it can be good, the flavor is a bit different but...needs must sometimes!)

3) My kale will overwinter, I can usually get a good year and a half out of them (I'm in 9b, rare frosts, never daytime frost). They prefer the cooler weather and will usually bolt or just stall after too long and then I start more. I think in the winter up there they won't put out new leaves in the cold season, so people generally just keep them over the winter for easy storage. See what happens!
 
pollinator
Posts: 137
Location: Middle Georgia, Zone 8B
56
homeschooling home care chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Made a few interesting observations as a beginner gardener last year.

1) The first frost date came about 1 month late here in Oklahoma.  Instead of Nov 3 it was Nov 30.  (Climate chnage?)

2) I just made guacamole this morning on January 19 2021, with cilantro that was planted back in the summer. Wow it sure is winter hearty!  It tastes good too not bitter.

3)All my kale plants are thriving even after many days over winter in the 20's (F).   What would happen if I just let them stay there, would they be good for another year? Or do I need to pull them at some point and plant new seed?



Yay for documenting your observations! I try to keep a garden planner with such info, so I can compare/diary what works from year to year.

1. Our first frost (middle Georgia) was earlier than usual. I distinctly remember studying NOAA's predictions about my area's weather. They said "warmer and drier." Boy, were they WRONG! We've had more frost damage than I can remember in several years.

2. I haven't grown cilantro in the winter, but my parsley is doing great! Thanks for the tip on growing winter cilantro. We love cilantro here!

3. Kale is very frost hardy. I've noticed it gets sweeter after a frost. (Science-y nerd fact: The plants send sugar into the leaf cells during cold weather. It's a self-preservation characteristic. Sugar water has a lower freezing point than plain water, so sending sugar up the leaves helps them to survive, but also makes them taste better to us. Bonus!)

You can leave your kale where it is if you don't have that space planned for a different crop. Be advised though, kale is a biennial. It will send up flowers and make seeds in the Spring. Great for learning about seed saving, as long as you don't also let any other plant with cross-pollinating potential (think Brassica family) blossom at the same time.
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for all the great replies and info.  Another observation I made, is that although the growth speed of the Kale has slowed down significantly, I don't seem to have the bug/worm problem in the winter like I did in the summer and fall Leaves aren't full of holes! Which is nice.  I have enough plants to pick here and there and it'll probably grow fast enough for me through the winter.  I have like 6 different plants of varying variety.  Time to start cooking some dishes with kale in it.  I like to mince a bunch , throw in a little minced onion, and fry it up a bit in butter and salt.. then mix in some scrambled eggs and make a fritatta, topped with cheese.
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in Zone 7A.  It was August 20 I planted two square feet of Cilantro seed.  I scattered it and covered it with 1/4" or so of soil.  It never bolted nor died off.  I just had it over my mexican dish last night. It tasted very sweet and flavorful.  I've had this cilantro snowed on, bunch of weather in the low 20's.  Still survived.  I don't know if it would survive 0 degree weather, I don't think we had htat cold of a day here yet.  Heck I left the snow on it for like 4 days lol.  The parsely is still going too.

I am so glad I have a journal because now I'll just plant it again on August 20th this year.  I also had planted it in early spring and it grew well but bolted very fast, within a month or two after maturing.

I planted the cilantro seed halves: https://www.trueleafmarket.com/products/cilantro-seeds-leisure-splits?variant=18650807566451
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lol my Kale has been covered with ice, then snow for almost 2 weeks now.  I went outside and broke of a frozen piece of leaf.  It was so delicious!  I am gonna laugh if it survives this.  It got as cold a -7F here in Oklahoma (Zone 7A).  There is still snow over it!
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Crazy business.. The snow/ice has finally melted.  The kale, parsley and cilantro were covered in ice and snow for 2 weeks!  It was very cold with some nights getting as low as -7F.  

They are thriving... wow..  and they all taste good.  (I did have to trim off pieces that didn't survive the weather but mostly they look good.. like they will easily make it through to the spring.)  They are all sweet, especially the kale as mentioned in the science above.

So therefore I have concluded Kale is indestructible in the harshest of winters!  

In the future, I am going to make sure I have a full 4 x 4 foot bed of kale growin in the fall to last me through all of winter.   I'll make sure to have the cilantro and parsley as well. Lots of parsley, I love Tobouleh. (I make it with riced cauliflower instead of bulgar wheat since I eat low carb).
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow I just chcked up on some other brassica, namely my arugula.  It survived too!  And it tastes so sweet and nutty . Not bitter.  So like all brassicas I conclude are indestructible in the winter  

I love arugula in a salad.  I suppose I should grow  a variety of lettuce over the winter.. I wonder if it will hold up to such extremes.  I suppose I'd need to build a cold frame for it, to go over my 4 x 4 foot raised beds.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 1982
Location: South of Capricorn
780
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yay for survivors!
Kale often gets nice and sweet after a frost. Arugula does really well in the winter, as do most brassicas. Lettuce will lose its structure at even the threat of a frost, but the brassicas are often more resistant- and even if they look pretty crummy, they might perk up when the weather turns and they get a bit of water.

Parsley, collards, cilantro, kale, arugula, edible chrysanthemum and romaine lettuce (which I think is actually a brassica, has more nutrition and does better in the cold) are my winter crops-- they bolt way too fast. Plus less pest pressure when it's cold.
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the reply Tereza.  I'll try the Romaine Lettuce this year in the winter in a cold frame.

I just picked some very tasty kale from a couple different plants (grew like 5 varieties of it).. chopped it up and made a frittata.  Was so delicious.  I fried it so it charred a bit for some interesting flavor before adding the egg.

Amazing that I sowed these seeds indoors in summer last year and they survived 2 weeks under frost and snow with -7F weather!  

As you say there is no pest problem with the brassicas in the winter.  They got eaten bad by caterpillars in the fall.  I suppose I should use some thuricide on them if that's really okay for the garden health and human health.
IMG_7164.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_7164.jpeg]
 
gardener
Posts: 623
Location: N. California
223
hugelkultur kids cat dog fungi trees books chicken cooking medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gardening can be such an adventure.  It's fun to figure out what works for you. I can plan peas in August and get a fall crop, then they wait patiently, and I will get another crop in the very early spring.  I live in zone 9 b, and we don't get the cold weather like you, but peas can handle some frost, maybe if you cover it. It won't produce all winter, but you may get a jump on spring..  Anyway, great job. Nothing better than growing and eating your own food.  Happy gardening.
 
Jennifer Lowery
Posts: 128
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
THe Winter Survors
Kales, A few cilantro, Chives.   The arugula kinda died.  One kale plant died as wlel.

Hard to believe these kales were in -7F below weather, first covered by thick frost, then snow for 10 days.. no protection, no plastic or cold frame.  THey had no daylight for like 10 days ... crazy right?


IMG_7310.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_7310.jpeg]
IMG_7311.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_7311.jpeg]
IMG_7312.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_7312.jpeg]
IMG_7313.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_7313.jpeg]
 
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Southern Germany
256
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The last winters were quite mild here, but this winter had lots of snow and cold weather. So only one of my purple sprouting broccolis looks good. The other three look quite sad.

The chards are quite withered as well.
Most of the pointy endives look good and I can still harvest (https://deaflora.de/Shop/Endivien-und-Chicor-e/Zuckerhutsalat--Samen-.html), same with wintercress and lambs lettuce.
Chives freeze back to the ground here and are only sprouting timidly again.

Well, I am happy for every green leaf I can harvest in the garden right now!
gift
 
6 Ways To Keep Chickens - pdf download
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic