Posts Tagged ‘Greens’

060A few weeks ago, we had several days of sub-freezing temperatures, and my fall/winter garden took quite a hit.  The only survivor is a patch of baby collards.

While I know the kale and mustard will come back once the temperatures warm up a bit, I found myself missing being able to add freshly grown greens to my meals.  It was past time to turn on the seed table!

I started off planting only lettuce and microgreens.


Next up was the spinach and turnip greens.


The seed table is starting to fill up!


Today I started a big bucket of sugar snap peas; they’re hiding from view, on the bottom shelf.

The plants in these pots and buckets won’t grow as big as those planted in a garden bed, but they’ll be fresh and tender and delicious in salads and smoothies! And hopefully tide me over until the weather’s nice enough to grow things outside.

What’s in your garden?


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I have a not-so-well-kept secret. Anyone walking in my yard immediately figures it out: I am not the world’s most immaculate gardener.

In the past few years, I’ve been able to divide my yard into “summer” gardens and “winter” gardens. And, for the most part, I’ve been able to get seeds in the ground on time so they have an opportunity to grow.

But I’m not so good about keeping on top of weeding and keeping the bushes trimmed.  Also, I’ve somehow been unable to clean up most of my winter garden beds after the plants in those beds have died.

The bad thing about my procrastination is that I never get cover crop in the soil to provide more nutrients. But, I’ve found that there’s also a benefit to my laziness: free plants!  Not only do many of the greens re-seed themselves in place — I haven’t bought kale seed for years! — but they also show up in unexpected areas.


The Asian green above is living in a bed along with spring bulbs, pink yarrow and various weeds.   I planted the original seeds about five years ago; now the seed packet (and the memory of this green’s name) is long gone, but I still get to enjoy free food.


The mustard greens, above, are growing in one of the pathways in my backyard.  Disregard the other weeds that are also thriving in the pathway.


I must be especially bad about cleaning up mustard greens,  Because, in addition to the original bed in which they grew and the walkway above, a large patch  has sprung up on the side of my yard nowhere near any of my garden beds.   Yum yum!


Besides greens, I find a lot of cornflowers in random places.  Usually, they sprout in the spring, but this poor guy got confused by our warm fall weather.  I hope the plant makes it through this current patch of cold temperatures, but if it doesn’t, I know that there will be more to take its place come spring!

Anyone else have a messy garden?

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Earlier today, I was cleaning up part of my summer garden. I’ve still got several rows to clean up and cover crop, but the area feels so empty now.

Good thing the winter garden is basically thriving!

The chard in this bed is growing nicely. Bugs have attacked the chard in another bed.

Unlike the past few years, the turnip greens are thriving this year.

Turnip greens in front, kale in back.

The savoy cabbage may produce, if I can keep the bugs away.

Speaking of bugs, aphids have attacked the collard greens.

The bugs must not like mustard greens.

I always overplant lettuce, so I picked a lot for lunch today.

One good thing about being a tad behind in garden chores: things reseed themselves! Witness the arugula above and the kale below.


I love being able to grow food most of the year. And while I’ll miss my summer veggies, I’m looking forward to fresh steamed greens!

What’s growing in your garden?

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Historically, fall has not been one of my favorite seasons. The main reason being that fall ushers in shorter days, and I need lots of sunlight.

But, that being said, there’s plenty to love about fall: cooling temperatures after a sweltering summer, college football (Duke is 1-0!), and beautiful foliage on the trees. All those reds, oranges and yellows brighten my mood.

But my favorite thing about fall is green — specifically, the greens that grow in my garden.

Growing a fall garden in North Carolina seems a bit counter-intuitive. In order for cool-season crops to mature, one must plant them in the blistering heat of August.

So about a month ago, I pulled out my seed packets and got to work. As is my practice, I threw out way too many seeds, figuring I could always thin the plants along the way.


The beds above, with arugula, chard and collards, are already ready to be thinned.


So are the mustard greens and lettuce above. I’m envisioning a meal of micro-greens!


The picture above is part of a bed planted two weeks ago. The cabbage is emerging, but no such luck with the spinach.


Here’s the rest of that garden bed. The kale and turnip greens are toward the back; the bald spots up front are where more chard and beets were seeded.

My soil is not the most fertile, so I’m not surprised the spinach didn’t take. But the chard normally does well. I was confused! But lately I’ve noticed Socks the cat sleeping in the front areas of that bed, squishing any seedlings that had a chance to sprout. Mystery solved!

I’ve got about 10 more beds (3x3s, 3x6s and 3x12s) to plant, so hopefully I can get more chard and spinach growing there. And hopefully I can find another, more suitable napping spot for Socks.

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