Have you planted your garden yet?
It is GO TIME!!
At least, here in Kentucky, it is.
We have a bit of nasty stuff coming tonight, but it is smooth sailing after that.
It may be too soon to plant those tomatoes and peppers, but cole crops can be planted now in most areas and they love the cool nights.
Cole crops are plants that are in the mustard (Brassica) family. They grow better in cool weather. Some plants in this family:
Brussels sprouts • Cabbage • Cauliflower • Collards • Kale • Kohlrabi • Mustard • Broccoli • Turnip • Watercress
There are other plants that thrive in cooler weather and can also be grown in early spring.
A Few More Cold Loving Crops
- Arugula (rocket)
- Celery (mild winter climates)
- Mustard greens
- Onions (bulbing)
- Onions (bunching–standard onions harvested before they form bulbs).
- Pak choi (Bok choy)
My (cool season) garden is in the ground and flourishing.
I did have a bit of a snow-scare a couple weeks back. Thanks to my ingenuity and some plastic cups, the baby plants pulled through like troopers.
The nice thing about “cole crops” is that they are almost indestructible.
My plants probably would have been just fine with a little snow on them – but I wasn’t willing to take any chances. I didn’t want to start over and replant my garden.
Here’s what I have planted so far:
#1: Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is a leafy green that is delicious in salads. It can be sauteed like spinach, but I tend to like it better as a salad green.
#2: Red Kale
I like kale in salads, fresh juice and I have even been known to use it in place of lettuce on BLT’s. Kale is one of the easiest plants to grow. Go here to learn how.
I always grow garlic. I cook with it nonstop. The garlic cloves are actually planted in the garden before winter. The garlic is always the first plant to greet me in spring. Go here to learn how to grow garlic.
I love fresh spinach. I never have enough. I LOVE creamed spinach, sauteed spinach with garlic, spinach salad, hot bacon dressing over spinach and spinach dip. Goodness, it is delish. There are 2 problems with spinach –
- there never is enough of it (no matter how much I plant I wish I had more) and
- it is a pain to grow from seed
Spinach seeds need perfection to germinate and grow. If it’s too hot or too wet or too cold they die.
This is what always happens when I attempt to grow spinach from seed.
So, I just buy seedlings from my local garden store and transplant them.
#5: Green Kale
I just sowed these seeds 2 weeks ago & look at them go!
I like to grow my kale from seed. It is so easy. I just sprinkle the seeds in rows and cover with a little soil. The seeds will germinate in just a few days (about 10). Kale can grow in extremely cold temperatures.
I have this lifelong battle with cabbage worms that makes me contemplate growing broccoli each year. I have the war pretty much licked thanks to DE.
#7: Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts are worth growing just to see how they grow. I’ll be sure to post updated pics when the ‘sprouts’ form on the stalks – it’s so adorable.
I love Brussels sprouts. I tell the kids they are baby cabbages. Mmmm
I grow my turnips from seed – because who would actually pay money for a turnip? Gross. How to grow turnips here.
I hate them, but I LOVE turnip greens. It’s a southern thing. Here’s my favorite way to eat them.
If you don’t have any asparagus in your garden, you should plant some crowns. Asparagus is a perennial that continues to give you spears for over 15 years. I never even think about my asparagus. I eat it all the time in spring and chop it down in fall – that’s it.
- How to grow asparagus here.
- Sauteed Asparagus here.
- Asparagus with parmesan cheese here.
- Creamed asparagus with peas here.
Aren’t they adorable? Baby sugar snap pea plants!
We LOVE sugar snap peas. They are as sweet as sugar, crunchy and delightful.
How to grow peas here.
# 11, 12, & beyond: Cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, beets, onions, potatoes
I also have cauliflower & cabbage in the garden.
The lettuce & beet seeds are in the soil but haven’t germinated yet.
And I need to get the onion sets and potatoes planted.
I tell you, I absolutely love gardening. There is nothing like watching the seeds sprout, grow and become food. Preparing and eating the foods that you have grown is a thrill.
There is no better way to eat organic, fresh and local!
Happy Gardening Y’all!