Late season harvest planning
I am a kitchen gardener, so every few weeks it is planting time, again. But the next few weeks I have a few things that really enhance my fresh food for fall and winter months.
The ideal time in my micro climate to set out brassicas is the middle of August. I grow cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli all year, and have had broccoli produce for years(yes, I just prune back the heads and keep eating, the record is 4 years from the same plant) But now is the time for people in cooler climates to set these out. The only trick I have to extend this harvest over a period of time is to plant varieties with various ripening times--when I plant mine in a few weeks I will have cabbages with harvest times, everything from 65 to 110 days.
I plant 2 tomato varieties and see which one has better production each year. They are not great fresh tomato varieties, but they do better than regular tomatoes when you wrap them in paper/put in a box in the basement/unwrap and eat fresh throughout the winter. Winter Keeper and Endless Summer are varieties developed for this purpose. But if you don't want to plant another tomato vine, you can wrap any blemish free tomato in paper(like heavy tissue or newspaper weight) and use this way. Since I don't prune, I harvest outdoor tomatoes, protected from cold, until a really hard frost, usually in December. We eat these on salads into late March from our basement.
What things do you do to extend your fresh food season?
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