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Eight Month Harvest

So it’s almost Halloween and most everyone’s garden is winding down at this point but if you planned your garden well, it’s spooky (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) how you can still be eating well from your garden even now.

Garden Fresh Salad in Late October

And I intend to be harvesting from my garden into December. I still have greens and beets growing and my fall broccoli is just starting to form its heads. If I can stretch it out to December 22, I’ll have been harvesting¬† veggies for 8 months (so what if it was less than a pound in April, a harvest is a harvest).

This year has been especially good for an extended harvest because last winter had relatively mild temperatures which meant my carrots and kale from 2009 survived the winter and constituted my initial harvest. Also, the snow melted and ground thawed early so I had my first seeds in the ground in mid-March. At this end of the season, I still haven’t had a frost yet so my tomatoes and peppers are still producing. Even in a more normal year I’d still be harvesting the greens and other veggies I mentioned above.

So just because you live here in the Northeast (or somewhere else with a supposedly short growing season) don’t limit your thinking to just a summertime harvest.

2 Responses to “Eight Month Harvest”

  1. john filardi says:

    Hi, I am growing broccoli too, and cauliflower. The heads are getting fuller, and bigger everyday. I’m wondering if you have any tips in regards to judging when would be the best time to clip them? Thanks…

  2. Jay says:

    Hi John- If you go to my blog post from July entitled “Is it Ready to pick or not” you’ll see pictures of broccoli heads that have gone a bit too far, although they are still edible even at that stage. My best advice might be to take a look at the broccoli at the supermarket, it’s usually at a reasonable stage. Don’t expect to get heads the size of the ones you see there, especially at this time of year. Also you might want to err on the side of picking a little too soon right now so you’ll get more side heads before true winter arrives. Also you can extend your harvest by using row covers which are very light-weight fabric that you drape over the plants. Row covers kept my broccoli going even after the first snow last year. Good luck, Jay

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