2.4.13 Under cover: winter greens and chicories

2.4.13 Under cover

It’s been a month since our year-end harvest and, with a run of subzero days, we didn’t know what to expect when we went to check on the garden beds. We pulled back the row covers with trepidation, what rotten mess would we find? Not all of the winter lettuce mix made it. Though, good old escarole, we can count on you!

2.4.13 Under cover

We’d left nubs of Fordhook chard in the ground and they’re proving their hardiness, not only surviving but beginning to put out new growth. 

2.4.13 Under cover

The most unexpected find was the pan di zucchero. While the puntarelle succumbed to the cold, the two heads of pan di zucchero soldiered on.

2.4.13 Under cover

The second head had developed tall enough to be harvested, our sole one for the day. It will have place of honor in a radicchio, egg and grana padano soup, a new favorite.

2.4.13 Under cover

The good, the bad, and the wilty: pan di zucchero, puntarelle, fun jen, and arugula.

2.4.13 Under cover

Cold-tolerant arugula, winter lettuce mix, kales and chard. The plants keep in kind of  suspended animation and, once the days reach a certain length, should resume growing.

2.4.13 Under cover

There was one last tatsoi huddling under a double layer of row cover. The ground was frozen, and the plant appeared desiccated and frost-burned.

2.4.13 Under cover

In the flurry of cleaning the bed out, it inadvertently ended up in the compost. Poor tatsoi, we would have liked to have brought it inside and see if it revived enough to be edible. 

2.4.13 Under cover

We’d brought four of the catalogna chicory inside back in December, two each of the Brindisina and the broader-leaved Galantina. Amber suggested forcing them, and we treated them as we would paperwhites. They spent several weeks in a pail of water placed in the garage, after which we brought them inside and kept them in a light and cool room.

2.4.13 Under cover

The plants are less than robust, next time we’d keep them potted. Still, two of the puntarelle are sending out tips. Unfortunately, we neglected to mark them and don’t know which variety is which — bad gardener! We’ll now must wait until spring to see if the outside ones recover and do the same.

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16 Responses to 2.4.13 Under cover: winter greens and chicories

  1. azita says:

    The pan di zucchero.looks so beautiful. cool post as usual

  2. Amber says:

    I’ve been waiting to see your new post!!!! Seems that if you can leave them where they are and protect them from the cold they will start to do the points! It is a bit milder here though. Our 60 degree days followed by day in the teens did not do well for mine since I was unable to open the door in the “heat”. I’m sure it was way too hot in there for them. Your They very healthy inside! I think it is just a long process. What a sin that there is not more info on in online! Did you see my new post and the surprise I got with mine??? Your escarole and Pan di Zucchero look great! They just love the cold! Have you tried gathering the outer leaves putting a rubber band or twine around to keep it closed for about a week? The leaves blanch inside and get very crunchy and tender. Happy Gardening!

    • leduesorelle says:

      I’ll remember the blanching tip. Sadly, the forced puntarelle are infested with aphids, and we don’t know if they’ll survive. We’ll wait and see what happens with the ones outside…

      • Amber says:

        I hate aphids!!!!!! I had that problem when I started seedings inside last year and in the spring I was taking them in and outside. Gardening can be so frustrating sometimes!!!! Sorry!!!! But wow….those fresh tomatoes are awesome!!!! Win some, lose some!

  3. Amber says:

    whoops….I meant it to say yours look very healthy inside!

  4. You guys are doing great in this cold weather. My hat is off to you!

  5. Claire says:

    Amazing! I am so impressed with your plants. The chicory looks just as beautiful as a paper white.

  6. Norma Chang says:

    I agree, your chicory looks gorgeous. I am going to try your method with the red leaf dandelion in the fall.

  7. Liz says:

    Living in such a mild climate I think I take the ease of gardening here a little for granted. I love the different ideas you have for getting a harvest no matter what the conditions.

    • leduesorelle says:

      It’s nice to have the mid-winter break from gardening… still, it would be nice to have access to year-round herbs!

  8. Lrong says:

    Very pretty images… thanks for the inspiration…I should make a cover for my greens next season..

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