Hello, Lilygrass fans!
We’re happy to see you’ve survived the holidays in one piece! Now we only need to get geared up for one more – New Year’s Eve, and that one’s a cakewalk, if you can stay up until midnight. (We hardly ring in the new year at our house…) Whether you are an avid night owl or you nap until the ball drops, there are only a few more days until life returns to non-holiday “normal.”
In preparation for this return back to normalcy, we’ve got some tips for cold-weather gardens for you. We’ve had pretty mild winters so far this year in the south, but the ice storms are brewing right now, so let’s get ready!
First, I’d like to mention some cold weather vegetables that do well this time of the year for any of our gardeners out there!
- Carrots: According to almanac.com, carrots are good vegetables to plant a little later on in the season and can tolerate frost a bit better than some other vegetables. Check out this link here for more information.: http://www.almanac.com/plant/carrots
- The next valuable vegetable that can last through winter freezes is garlic. It’s natural planting season is during the spring or fall, with fall recommended for a nicer summertime harvest. In northern areas, alamanc.com recommends adding straw to the soil to help incubate the bulbs during that cold, winter season. Check out more on garlic planting tips here: http://www.almanac.com/plant/garlic
- Our last cold weather champion for this blog is that super food, spinach! Rather than planting lettuce, which can only usually tolerate a light frost or two, spinach can be planted in the fall and needs six weeks of cool weather before harvest. The almanac page for spinach really paints this vegetable in a healthy and valuable light! http://www.almanac.com/plant/spinach
There are definitely some vegetables that you should stay away from during those colder months! Be sure to plant your kale in the summer and harvest it before the first freeze. It won’t do well after that! Potatoes are another crop that frost can hurt! They look tough, but plan on planting them after that last spring freeze, and harvest those puppies in July. They are definitely not a cold weather survivor. Another vegetable that is very obviously not going to do well during the winter months is corn. Plant your corn at the same time you plant your potatoes, but it gets harvested a little later than July. Different varieties need various grow times, of course, but corn needs a long, warm growing season.
If there happens to be an early frost, you can cover those plants with a giant tarp. However, for the vegetables and plants that are already dormant and underground, the snow can act as an insulating barrier, much like mulch. Just watch out for the trees and shrubs with branches. Snow acts as a dead weight that can damage limbs.
If plants are moveable, then get them inside of a garage or greenhouse area for the best protection. Some can even thrive inside the house during those wintery storms!
This link gave lots of very specific information regarding “putting your garden to bed” for the winter. (I just love that saying!)
Thanks for reading, Lilygrass fans! I hope you and your gardens are staying warm and safe this season!
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