We’ll Have A Green Christmas

Or maybe I should say, “We’ll have GREENS for Christmas”. Due to a convergence of the moon and stars (and perhaps some over planting on my part) we have a lot of greens going on here now, which is not entirely a bad thing.

Starting in the kitchen garden,  the two cold frames are full of greens, including lettuce, arugula, spinach, Yukina savoy and komatsuna.

The cold frames are 4×4 feet, so each bed has 16 square feet of growing space. I added a one inch layer of compost before planting the beds back in October. The greens seem to appreciate it!

We might get a taste of spinach before really cold weather comes, but the big harvest will come next spring. In our area, overwintered spinach has a big jump on spinach that is planted in spring. Last year the overwintered plants gave us most of our spinach, since they had edible leaves much earlier than the spring planting, which started bolting after a brief harvest period. Spinach is a tricky plant to grow here. Our warm fall weather makes it difficult to get it to germinate then, and in spring it warms up so fast it bolts in no time.

young spinach plants

The Yukina savoy will be ready in a couple of weeks. It is an upright type of Tatsoi, and while it looks sort of like spinach, the taste is more like its close relative pac choi. It is versatile in the kitchen, good in salads, soups and stir fries. After harvest I will probably replant that area with some mizuna, which is a bit more hardy.

Yukina savoy

I have some young mizuna seedlings ready to go. I’m hoping to test their hardiness this year in both the cold frame and greenhouse. The greens are pretty tasty too.

mizuna seedlings ready for planting

This Spotted Trout lettuce plant is so pretty. I have seven plants in the cold frames. We’re looking forward to seeing it soon in our salad bowls! Also known as Forellenschluss, this Austrian heirloom is supposed to be very cold tolerant.

Spotted Trout lettuce

In the GREENhouse, there are even more greens growing. The Red Choi pac choi is coming along nicely. It will be ready to harvest soon.

Red Choi pac choi

The Mei Qing pac choi was planted a bit later.

Mei Qing pac choi

I’ve got lettuce in the greenhouse too. This Red Salad Bowl has colored up about as red as it gets. We’ve been harvesting this as we need it. There’s more lettuce in the beds and in planters.

Red Salad Bowl lettuce

Out in the main garden we have greens as well. The turnip patch has been good to us this year. We’ve enjoyed the greens and the roots. They’ll hold up well into the winter, if we don’t eat them all first.

turnip patch in November

And there’s kale and collard greens too. Most of the kale should last well into winter. The hardiest types will make it to spring. The freezing weather just makes it taste all the sweeter.

variety of kale plants

As you can see, it will be a green Christmas and New Year here! And guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? Well, GREENS, of course!

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10 Responses to We’ll Have A Green Christmas

  1. Robin says:

    Everything looks really good! I thought that I was the only one who had a hard time growing spinach!

  2. meemsnyc says:

    Wow, the cold frames are just gorgeous! I am so jealous!

  3. Emily says:

    Wow, lovely greens. We’re down to mostly kale and brussels sprouts. There are few greens in the cold frame but they are growing slowly.

  4. vrtlaricaana says:

    Everything looks very healthy and very green!
    I decided that I won’t grow spinach any more. I never had a harvest from it. This year it just turned yellow and stopped growing.
    Your spinach is looking perfect.
    I love how many kale plants you grow!

  5. LynnS says:

    Beautiful greens, Dave! The Red Choi and Spotted Trout are exceptional!

    Your greenhouse flats have convinced me to grow some fall green crops in our greenhouse next year — maybe we’ll get lucky! I’ve kicked the idea around but never followed through since the regular garden and harvest take so much time. Are you providing heat or is it strictly solar? ( For us, the greenhouse went from year-round to only seasonal use — I’ve cut way, way back, stopped raising orchids and am using the greenhouse for seeds starting (heated during Winter) and herbal drying (solar in Summer and Autumn).

    • Villager says:

      Lynn, I do supplemental heat only when it gets really cold, maybe below 20F. The greenhouse serves more like a big hoop house for us in winter. I’ve got the beds full of greens (and a little parsley), and the benches have planters with more greens in them.

  6. Mike says:

    Your greens are looking great and I have to agree with Lynn that I really like the looks of the Red Choi and Trout lettuce. I think I will purchase some of that trout lettuce for next years garden, I just saw it the other day in some catalogue…very nice.

  7. Pingback: Greenhouse Greens « Wood Ridge Homestead in the Shenandoah Valley

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