Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kitchen Garden Update: The Aftermath of the Aftermath

In this post I extolled the virtues of extending the growing season by planting Fall and even Winter crops. But that was before I had actually tried to do it.

I like to think of myself as the Adam Roberts of kitchen gardening. I'm interested, eager and somewhat knowledgeable, but essentially an amateur. (By the way, after you have a show on the Food Network and a cookbook, can you still be an amateur?) But I've learned that my improvisational approach which works so well in the kitchen does not apply to growing.

For instance, remember the melon that I hoped would ripen before the frost? Here's what it looks like:

The quarter is there for scale, the rot to show my failure.

While the baby carrots and frost hardy cabbages and lettuce never even sprouted, you can see from the photo at top that the sorrel obviously has no problem surviving a few frosts. That just goes to show that you can keep growing your own food in the cooler months, you just have to know what you're doing, or get lucky.

I did try planting several cloves of garlic, which will hopefully sprout into fat, scape-topped stalks by next summer.

For those who don't know, to grow a bulb of garlic you simply plant a clove. You plant those cloves in the Fall as you would with other bulb plants, like tulips. For those who do know, I'm sure I did something wrong.

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Maggie said...

I always try to console myself over vegetable garden failures by thinking how good it was to have a plot of diverse plant species even if it didn't serve to grow anything edible.

On the other hand, I hate growing melons. The darn squirrels always chomp into them just before they are fully ripe.

NewTasteTester said...

I found out too late about planting garlic in the Fall. I had planted mine in the Spring. They grew but who knows what they would have become?

Elsie said...

Hi, I don't know how I found your blog, but here I am, and love it. I also tried for a winter garden this year... with some success and some failure, but found that my best friends were Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman and a flyer from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Currently I have tons of ruby chard and spinach and some salad greens under floating row covers. Also some leeks. I live in Charlottesville and see that you have visited. Great place to garden. SSE says mulch your garlic like crazy. I am crossing my fingers for success in June!

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