Your Winter Garden
One of the great benefits of living in the maritime Pacific
Northwest is that we can eat out of our gardens even during the winter. The hardiest crops are kale, collards and
mustard greens. A little frost actually
makes them sweeter. If you love cooked
greens, the end of July and the beginning of August are the time to plant a
Those of you who have a small garden or who didn't get back
from vacation in time to plants seeds, can still buy starts at the nursery or
grocery store and transplant them between now and the middle of August.
Hardy lettuce varieties can also be planted now and will be
edible right up to the first hard frost.
Keep all your transplants damp during the August heat until their root
systems are well established and the sun is a little milder.
You will also find cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli starts
available now. If the fall is mild,
these will be ready to eat before the frost.
In certain years, my cabbages and cauliflowers did not mature before
winter set in. Instead, they sat out the coldest months and then started
growing again when the weather warmed up.
All winter long, those cauliflowers looked just like the
cabbages. Then suddenly one day, creamy
white heads emerged from the green coverings, gleaming like the snow we could
still see on the mountaintops. Those
April cauliflowers were the loveliest and tastiest that I have ever eaten!