Thursday, November 02, 2006

Its Cold But the Garden Still Grows

Swiss chard and kale are just amazing. We've had a little frost and a lot of cold nights in the high 30's but still they grow, in containers! In theory they should die off quicker in containers because the soil cools more quickly but they didn't get the memo. I wonder how long I can keep them going?

After work today, we'll be upending the last of our potato barrels. I'm anxious to see how many pounds of potatoes we ended up producing. The challenge I've discovered is what to do with the dirt afterwards. From what I've read, using the same container soil 2 years in a row is not recommended because of the potential for pests to thrive in it. I believe crop rotation is important for regular gardens as well.

The Jerusalem Artichokes grew wonderfully as well. I'm planning on harvesting a few just to see what they taste like. My overall plan is to let them spread and take over the patch of garden I planted them in.

My herbs are all indoors and frankly the mint isn't happy. I've yet to find a spot it likes. Its dropping leaves like crazy. On the other hand, the sprig of sage that I rooted a few weeks back seems to be doing well.


minotte's notes said...

hi, i am so glad to find your blog. i grow a lot of my vegetables in my backyard, too.

check me out at

hope to see some pics next time!

happy harvest!

Anonymous said...

I heard (although living in CA most of my life I was never able to verify) that swiss chard is a cold and frost loving veggie and that the snow/frost actually sweetens it up. I can't wait to hear how yours tastes!

Katie said...

Hi Minotte, welcome!

I know carrots and brussel sprouts both taste better/sweeter after a frost. The difference is remarkable.

I'm not sure if chard and kale are the same. I've honestly never noticed a difference. I just love that they still grow!

Ruthie said...
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Ruthie said...
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Ruthie said...
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ruthie-is-me said...

Oh! I know. :)

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, its in the cabbage family and loves the cold. It is supposed to sweeten after a frost.

Swiss chard is a member of the goosefoot family. It is closely related to spinach but, most closely related to beets. Beets and swiss chard have the same recent ancestor, just one line was bred to improve the root (beet) and the other to improve the leaves (chard). It likes warmer weather than cruciferous veggies, but will still bolt in the summer.

My Swiss chard zonked out way before my kale. My kale would've survived the last hard snow I think!

(incredibly nerdy snort) Aren't plants cool?!

Ruthie said...

I am so sorry, I just posted the same comment like 5 times. I am an idiot.

Katie said...

You're not an idiot Ruthie! And I think plants are really cool too!