Winter Week 2

This last week was about as good as it can get for winter gardening – sun breaks, not very cold at night, only a bit of wind. Times like that need to be used when they happen – February won’t give up on winter at all even a little bit. Snow showers and overnight temps in the low 20’s are in the forecast for this next week…

Certain veggies do just fine down to below the 20’s though – and some of those were set out in cleared raised beds. Peas, Kale, Cabbage and a bit of left-over red Chard are out there now. Floating crop covers are on the Peas to keep those hungry sparrows from pulling the plants up and eating the seed. If the snow is too heavy the crop cover will need to be off, hopefully it can stay on for another 3 weeks or so.

Cabbage on left, Peas hidden from birds on right

As far as the plants inside the greenhouse go, everything is bigger than last week. This primarily shows up in the Turnips and Southern Giant Mustard, but the Radishes and Beets are also bigger. There are two new rows of Radishes that will be for the second half of this season, and more will be planted next week for the first part of green season. Surprisingly the Asian Mustard is thinking about going to seed even though it hasn’t been set out. That means that small Asian Mustard will be in your box or choice if you would like to try some. See the table below for more info.

The mystery plant in amongst the beets seems to be some type of Potato. It is pretty strange if so, one of the baby tubers was pulled out to check and see what was happening, and the ‘potato’ was very dark, almost black and the meat inside was very green. Those won’t be in your box, it looks toxic! I wonder if a tomato crossed with a potato… Hum.

Speaking of Potatoes, this week Sweet Potatoes and “normal” potato seed stock was ordered. There are some interesting new varieties and some of the standby types – Red Norland is the baby red of choice, for an old standby. “Grand Duke” is a Yellow/Yellow type that is mid-season, but that also gets “very large” later. 2021 was a big disappointment in terms of Potatoes – mostly due to the excess heat over the first weekend of July.  The plan (yes, there are plans here) is to prepare for another heat dome and pray that it doesn’t happen. Heavy mulch, lots of water. Check.

This week the lettuce is “Winter Density,” a romaine cross that is really large right now:

show-off Winter Density next to newly set out lettuce.

Spinach is smaller – the regrowth rate isn’t very fast with short days. In theory, you will get a sprig or so. The Cabbage is still doing awesome… Carrots are reeeeeaaaly slow. The ones that were in the box last week are basically in-the-ground from 2021- and are gone. Hope you enjoyed them!

In the box Week 2 of Winter

Lettuce  Winter Density
Cabbage Large Green (Alcosa)
Roots Cherry Belle Radish – mildly spicy, 3-4 per box. Turnips sorta have a root…
Greens Small Leaf Mustard (curly or southern giant – pretty sweet, not spicy)
Baby Turnips (nice size leaf, good for soup or ?, Bulb is still very small
Spinach – nice size, good flavor
Asian Mustard or Bok Choi
Herbs Probably none till second 4 weeks – still pretty small. Parsley, Chives, Cilantro, Basil, Cress and Artugula coming.

Coming soon… Chard, Kale, Beets – beet greens before the bulbs, maybe next week… And lots more lettuce of different varieties. Kale is actually about 6″ tall, but needs a couple of weeks. Session 2 of the season, for sure. Chard is 4-5″ and trying hard.

Remember to bring your box… 10-Noon Saturday or by arrangement.

Snow is also coming soon. Hope not too much!

By Doug

--- 'farmer doug' is the planner and heavy lifter for the CSA and the LLC. Loves to teach; "ask him the time, he'll tell you how to make a clock." Always has a new idea to try, some of which work. BTW - if you try and phone call, and you are NOT in his caller ID you will not be answered - just leave a message and you will be called right back.

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