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Winter Vegetable Gardens

January 9, 2016
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh vegetables. Today I’m at Dita McCarthy’s, visiting her winter vegetable garden. Cool season crops are the stars of the winter garden. Grown in raised beds the vegetables benefit from the improved drainage. Collards are a winter staple. And have you ever seen brussel sprouts growing on the stem before harvest? Bright Lights swiss chard is colorful with white, yellow, orange, and red stems. Red and orange beets provide colorful roots and edible foliage. Mixed red and green leaf lettuce provide for many colorful salads. This Kohlrabi looks like an alien spaceship that has landed in the garden. Dita uses multiple plantings to have a constant harvest. Carrots are ready in this bed, while these carrots will be ready later in the season. Some of Dita’s veggies are started in small pots, but many are direct seeded and will germinate in temperatures in the upper 30s like these Savoy cabbage seedlings. Dita’s daughter Cedar made the signs to label the planting beds and lend a rustic touch to the garden. When cold temperatures threaten quick hoops are made using using ½” pvc pipe stuck into the ground and covered using agribond fabric. This creates a greenhouse-like structure providing protection. With a little effort and planningt Dita and her family will be enjoying fresh vegetables on a cold winter’s night. I’m Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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