VICTORY GARDENS: On Gardens Going Off And Preparing To Overwinter Vegetables
by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | It’s summer. Berries are abundant. Gardens are going off right now. It’s harvest, harvest, harvest. But we at Victory Gardens must digress this week to highlight a topic of equal importance, because now is the critical time to act if you want to grow what you eat all winter long. If you haven’t started gardening and would like to, now is the time to get going. Our Pacific Northwest climate is well suited for gardening 365 days a year. We may have to lay down a row cover or poly tunnel here and there, but c’mon!
Because we are in the midst of harvesting the summer bounty, it’s also the time to consider what to plant in the subsequently empty garden spaces — in preparation for harvesting in the upcoming fall and winter months. If you’re considering overwintering, a little planning now will give you a jump on having an awesome early spring garden of overwintered goodies. Beats going to the grocery store, right?
So here’s the lowdown on overwintering: overwintered veggies are mostly sown or transplanted between now and fall, depending on the crop. Overwintered varieties don’t produce in winter either. As winter approaches, growth slows. But once the days start to lengthen again, the plants will begin to mature.
Some veggies you can look forward to in your winter and overwintered garden are: sprouting broccoli, cauliflower (“Purple Cape” is stunning and delicious), kohlrabi, scallions, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, beets, greens like arugula, romaine, and corn salad. That’s a lot of produce! And don’t forget garlic! It’s so easy to plant and so rewarding when you see the little green shoots come early spring. Oh, man.
If you need seeds and starts for your winter garden or need a hand, give us a shout!
Victory Gardens is a team of local urban farmers for hire. Lisa, Sandra and Sam help transform tired or underused residential and commercial green spaces into food producing gardens. Their goal is to challenge the way communities use space and to participate in the change needed to consume food more sustainably. For the rest of the growing season, they’ve hooked up with Scout to share some cool tips and tricks on how to get the best from of our own backyards.