Sunday, February 21, 2016

What’s growing in the late February garden

Parsley in the foreground
Sunday, February 21, 2016

The garden is waking up at this time of year.  The daffodils and hyacinths are coming up.  The daylilies and irises are just poking up through the mulch.  Since I provided no cover to the garden, only the most hardy greens and herbs are still visible.

It always seems like there is a slight warm up in January and then a really cold dip in February and there is less green in the garden in late February than January.

What is still growing or edible?  
Carrots-the roots are still edible and the green tops are sprouting again Grow crunchy, colorful carrots practically year round
Beets-the roots are still edible and their colored tops are sprouting All about beautiful beets
Onions, leeks, and garlic-their tops are green and sprouting.  The Egyptian walking onions and leeks have usable bulbs.  The outside is soft, but the inner layers are firm.  Perennial onions and other alliums
Thyme-is still a nice bright green.  Make your own "Herbes de Provence"
Bay, rosemary, sage-all have some parts that are still green. Start a kitchen herb garden!
Kale, parsley, corn salad, chickweed, dandelions, french sorrel, blood veined sorrel, mustard and salad burnet are all green.  Growing fabulous lettuce and greens

The surviving greens are more bitter than lettuce. They can be eaten on their own or the herbs and greens are great adds to the store bought lettuce. 

I did not use my mini portable greenhouse as I have in years past to keep the lettuce going through the winter.  I did miss having fresh lettuce from the garden this year.  I will use the mini green house next year!  Homegrown, organic salads in a Midwest winter

Lettuce in mini greenhouse in years past

Also green and/or sprouting are strawberries, chard, arugula, catnip, celery, spinach and tarragon.

I overwintered my kumquat, three pepper plants and 4 eggplants in the garage.  I lost one eggplant.  The others are all doing well.  I brought the pepper plants (Chiltepin) and eggplants (Japanese white egg) in because it took me forever to get these specific varieties to sprout last year.  On my third try in the middle of the summer, I finally had success.  This will give them a big head start on producing this spring, too.

Last year was not the best year in the garden.  All the rain we had caused higher disease problems and washed away the pollen so not as many fruits (peppers, zucchini and tomatoes) would set.  I saved the seed from the plants that did the best in the garden to have hardier stock for this year’s garden.

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