|Lavender in late fall|
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Well, the first hard freeze has swept through the Midwest, setting record low temps across the country for this time of year. The summer veggies are done until next spring. Does that mean the end of the kitchen garden? Nope. There is still much in the garden to enjoy!
The cold season crops have survived the first teens of the year. Kale, lettuce, broccoli, onions, mustards, chard, and herbs are nice and green. All cold season crops get sweeter when the mercury dips.
It is time, if you haven’t done so already, to pull up the old vines and give them to the compost heap. Only compost those that were free from disease; you don’t want to re-introduce any diseases to your garden next season.
If you are gardening in pots, move them up against a wall that gets southern exposure. This will move your effective climate zone up a full zone. If they are on stands or coaster, set them onto the ground. They will stay much warmer on the ground than suspended off the ground.
Now is a fun time of year to experiment in the kitchen with all the fresh herbs that are available. Parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon, bay, lavender, chives are all hardy herbs in November. I have had many Christmas dinners with herbs fresh from the garden.
You can also take a look at all the tomatoes you have put up in freezer bags. If you have more than you know you need, this is the perfect time of year to do some water bath canning.
As even more freezing weather comes our way, you can extend the season for lettuce and greens through the winter by using a portable green house or making your own hoop house.
The biggest killer of veggies in greenhouses? Getting too hot! Make sure you crack open your green house when the temps get above freezing and the sun is shining.
I have a little portable green house I put over my Earthboxes. I will still have lettuce until spring.