Today I want to show what’s growing out in the vegetable garden in late January. So far we have had a fairly mild winter here, with little snow and a bit warmer than usual temperatures. As a result, many of the cold hardy vegetables are still going strong in the garden. A few weeds are growing too, though not enough to get me out there in the cold to weed! Last fall I put away all the folding cages I use for peppers and eggplants, but I have no place to store the larger remesh tomato cages so they stay out in the garden all winter.
I left a few daikon radishes in the ground that didn’t size up before freezing weather arrived. Some of them sized up, but they don’t look all that well. I need to pull one or two and see if they are worth eating.
The collard greens are looking good though, and I am amazed at how hardy they have proven to be. I set out about 30 plants in all, and they have been keeping us well supplied with greens all winter.
I also set out about a dozen or so plants of kale, and they are also doing well. White Russian is one of my favorites for flavor, and it is quite hardy in our garden too.
Some varieties of collards are holding up better than others. It’s my first time growing the Hen Peck variety, and it looks as alive today as it did before the weather turned cold. There seems to be variations in the listings for this heirloom variety, and I got my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange which didn’t even have a photo listed.
The Purple variety is also holding up well. This heirloom from the Seed Savers Exchange is highly variable in the size and shape of the leaves and plants.
Green Glaze is another collard I got from SESE that has held up exceptionally well. It is tasty when cooked too. That said, they all seem to have a better flavor this time of year after numerous frosts and freezes.
I have several hybrid collard greens planted, and they are holding up so far. Top Bunch is one I’m growing for the first time, and I think the flavor of it is definitely improved by frosts.
The turnip greens are alive, but showing a lot of frost damage. I’ll leave them until time to start spring planting, and they may grow out with some new leaves. These are the All Top variety that is grown for the leaves only since they don’t make edible roots. I’m also growing the Topper variety.
Also showing a lot of frost damage is the Portuguese kale Tronchuda Beira. Like the turnips, I’ll let these plants grow on at least until I begin planting in spring. With all the kale and collards we are not wanting for greens to eat though!
I also have a few kale plants growing in a cold frame bed behind the greenhouse. They are covered only with bird netting to keep the deer from eating them. Starbor is a hybrid curly kale that I’ve grown for years and is very hardy for me here. I sometimes plant it in the winter greenhouse but last fall I set out these plants in the cold frame bed.
Also growing in the same bed is a kale I’m growing for the first time called Mars Landing. I’ve been harvesting the young leaves for baby greens but I haven’t gotten a good taste of the full grown ones yet.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of our garden in January. I hope to be back soon with a greenhouse tour, and Harvest Monday starts back on February 1.
You greens look at lot happier than our soggy plants
It is cold and rainy here today Sue, so I am sure they are soggy at the moment.
Your glowing reports on your collards have sold me! I ordered three different varieties to try this year. I somehow thought that collards were something that grew “down South” and that I’d not have luck here in Mid-Missouri. You have shown me that they are just what we need for those lean months in the garden. Can’t wait to get them in the ground! It won’t really be all that long…it’s the end of January already. How can it be?!
I have been so pleasantly surprised at how well the collards grow here in winter. I am guessing if I covered them they could stand even colder weather, but they do quite well uncovered.
Love seeing your garden and greenhouse. We “discovered” collards a few years ago– not something normally grown or eaten in NNewEngland. So delicious! Mine were so sturdy they lived through the winter and supplied me with a jar of seed for this year. I grew Georgia and Vates.