We continue to get a nice amount of fresh food to eat from our garden in February. Last week we had enough lettuce, spinach and arugula to have a couple of nice salads for lunch. Those greens all came from the greenhouse and cold frames.
And I picked about a pound of kale from the main garden. It has held up amazingly well this year, and is even starting to put on some new growth. I made kale chips with some of it, put a few leaves in a green smoothie, and braised the rest as a side dish last night. The variety here is mostly the curly Starbor.
Here’s an update on how the greens in the cold frames are doing. Cold frame #1 has lettuce, mizuna and spinach planted in it.
The Sea of Red, Ruby and Radichetta lettuces are doing pretty well. With mild weather forecast this coming week, and lengthening days, they should start growing again very soon.
The Winter Density lettuce is hanging on, but not as healthy looking as the other lettuces. You’d think with “winter” in its name it would be doing a little better! It’s alive though, and it may very well start growing and surprise me.
Cold frame #2 has more lettuce and spinach plus komatsuna, arugula and tatsoi.
The komatsuna and tatsoi are looking great. They are seemingly unfazed by all the cold weather. I will be growing them every winter. The mizuna plants aren’t faring as well, which is my own fault. Those transplants were a little small when I planted them last December. Next time I need to plant them a bit earlier. The mizuna in the greenhouse is doing fine though. The Spotted Trout lettuce (aka Forellenschluss) looks pretty good too. I believe it has earned a place in the winter garden as well. So has the arugula.
Of course the spinach doesn’t mind the cold at all. I’ve been harvesting enough of it for salads, but it won’t be long before it takes off and there’s enough for cooking.
For next winter, I have some more winter hardy varieties of lettuce and greens that I plan on growing. For the experiment this winter I pretty much used the varieties I had available. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how things have performed. Now I hope to take what I have learned and tweak it and have even more things available to eat for the next winter season.
Another thing I want to do is build more cold frames. In fact, I am planning on getting the materials this week and hopefully I can get at least one built. That will give us even more protected growing space for our cold weather gardening.
That’s a little peek at what’s happening in our gardens in February. I hope you enjoyed the tour, and remember, Spring is right around the corner!
Your cold frame garden is doing splendidly. My spinach was not as far along as I would have liked it going into winter – so it is just now providing a few leaves for salads. Luckily it will take off soon with the increasing day length and sun strength.
It’s nice to know that Komatsuna likes the cold. I’ll try that next winter. And your Forellenschluss held up well too. Maybe I should put that variety in. I have seed, but I wasn’t sure if it would make the cut for the spring lettuces.
Your cold frames look so nice and tidy…and definitely happy plants. You will have a head start on some great early spring vegetables!
Kale chips?!? I just have to try this. I discover such great ideas from my fellow bloggers. The crops in your cold frames seem to have held up very well. I mulched some spinach and covered it with a row cover before the snow fell. I wonder how it is doing insulated under 2.5 feet of snow? I won’t know for a while.
I didn’t invent the kale chips, but I’m happy to sing their praises! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
I am impressed with your cold frames, way to go!
Looks fantstic. Your spinach makes me jealous. Mine did not do so well this winter and ironically is trying to make a come back now that it’s getting warm enough that it will want to bolt soon. Oh well!
Yum yum, kale chips! I’ll have to bake up another batch before all my kale is done for the season, it’s all bolting now. Your garden is looking great in spite of all the nasty cold weather you’ve been enduring.
Awesome! I have some regiment spinach seeds started right now. And I’ll have to make a note to try those lettuce varieties next winter.
A very impressive array of greens! Our Tatsoi that’s been in over winter was doing great, right up until a recent streak of 70F weather. I can’t believe it’s bolting already! We’ll grow more this spring, but it seems to bolt quickly in the warm weather after being exposed to winter cold. I’m excited to try the spotted trout lettuce here, and ordered seeds just over a week ago to see how it does. It’s definitely unique looking!
Wow! The spinach looks good enough to eat off the screen. Menards now sells the double-walled polycarbonate greenhouse lights in 4×8 sheets. With its insulating properties do you think that it would make a good cover for a cold frame? It’s nice to find a gardening blog from the same region (I live north of Bloomington IN). I just started my own.
Forellenschluss has to be the best ever lettuce name.
I think the polycarbonate material would make a great cover for a cold frame. That’s the same material used in my greenhouse. I’ll have to check and see if our Menards has it too. It might be useful for other garden projects.
Thanks for stopping by, Mike. It’s nice to hear from a fellow Hoosier!