Gardening in the Cold
It’s still cold out… at least for some of us.
Have you planted your leafy greens?
Leafy greens are easy to grow and perfect when it is still cold or at least cool outside. They actually taste better when they are touched by a little frost. The leafy green garden presents a parade of fresh greens that can be enjoyed right out of the garden or cooked. Most greens are short-rooted plants that can thrive in containers on your patio. A plus, leafy greens provide more nutrition per square foot than almost any other garden crop and the mental health benefits that come with every, “I grew that” moment make this a very satisfying garden to grow and enjoy.
When you get the perfect container and the right soil you can plant your lettuces and kales in early spring, plant heat-tolerant chard in the summer and then return to the kales and lettuces in the fall. These healthy and nutritious greens are part of the cut-and-come-again collection, which means you can harvest the leaves and they will grow again.
Your leafy greens need an average of 5-6 hours of sunlight and it is important to maintain even soil moisture. When the soil dry’s out the plants could bolt which turns the leaves bitter. It is best to water regularly throughout the week and getting into the practice of checking on your garden every morning to witness its growth is an ideal way to start the day.
One of the benefits of planting leafy greens in a container is the ability to move your garden around. When weather is forecasted that is either to cold or hot for your plants, knowing you can more them to a protected place will extend your gardens season.
There are so many leafy green varieties to choose from, all have bring a unique flavor and opportunity to bring some healthy greens into your diet.
Which Green Do You Need?
The greens in question…
Curly Kale or Dino Kale:
Kale is a powerhouse – it is easy to grow, easy to harvest, and can keep growing for months to never leave you without a nice supply of kale. This leafy green is truly a SUPER food. It can be planted in the fall or winter, as well as harvested throughout these months continuously. It does well standing up to the frosts of winter or severe weather, and can even become sweeter and more tender through the hard times.
Cabbage or Purple Cabbage:
Cabbage is a crazy cool green, with over 400 varieties of the plant, this baby has been harvested longer down the history line than any other plant on record.
Spinach has the power to grow very quickly and can be harvested about a month after planting. Spinach for many is one of the first crops of spring and a wonderful fall crop as well. This leafy green plant is frost tolerant, so it can be planted early in spring. There are two main types of spinach: Savoy and smooth-leafed. A tip for watering your spinach is to water under the foliage, right at the ground level avoiding the leaves.
Lettuce or Drunken Woman Frizzy Lettuce:
Lettuce is a plant that thrives in temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and lettuce can reach maturity 30 days into planting. Lettuce is easy to harvest, normally harvested 30-70 days after planting, and can pretty much be harvested whenever it reaches a size you feel comfortable and content with!
Arugula is a green that matures and grows quickly and should be ready to harvest within 6 to 8 weeks after planting. This green has a bite and requires a bit more sunlight than other leafy greens. The leaves taste best at a younger age, as older leaves have a tendency to be a bit tough!
Like Arugula, Bok choy craves the full face of the sun. It can tolerate a little bit of shade in the afternoon. When it is young, it is important to keep it out of temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as it will bolt into flower budding immediately. The same goes for warm temperatures. They are normally ready to harvest 60 days or less after sowing.
Let it be green this winter with Gardenuity’s leafy green gardens!
Gardenuity’s Leafy Green Gardens
Your garden will include a combination of four to six leafy greens including a combination of Bok Choy, Curled Kale, Dino Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Arugula, Radicchio, or Lettuce Drunken Woman Frizzy.
All of these vibrant greens can be excellent additions to breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and even your favorite beverage.
Salad collections change with the seasons. From leafy greens during seasons with highs below 70 degrees to delicious salad toppings such as cucumber, tomato, or peppers during warmer seasons, each vegetable is bursting with nutrients. Eating more of them is a lot easier and more enjoyable when you can go out to your balcony and harvest them yourself. The Salad Garden is perfect for those who want to explore the endless possibilities of creative salads and salad toppings. Our farm partners are working with chefs to ensure we have the best varieties for epic salads.
Many things play a part in growing our practice of gratitude, including how we live and what we eat. We all know intuitively what gratitude feels like: being grateful for our present state, feeling grateful for our health, for those we love, and for the opportunity to show gratitude to others. Gardening experiences are a way to grow our practice of gratitude, to find those mindful moments every day where we appreciate nature, the bounty of harvests we can enjoy and share, as well as the knowledge in knowing we are doing something good for the planet.
Our world revolves around food. We gather around tables together to eat; we travel to taste different cultures’ cuisines; we drop off baked goods and treats at our loved ones’ houses for comfort and celebration. Almost every event, gathering, or festival gathers around food in some form. We need it to survive, but we also crave it to engage our senses, soothe a broken heart or elevate an exciting experience. This is what the Passport Garden is all about – celebrating food, bringing people together, and growing more joy by gathering around a new dish or cuisine.
Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in the United States every year, plus an additional one billion frozen pizzas. In a poll of more than 6,000 US adults, America’s favorite pizza topping is pepperoni, other popular additions are mushrooms, onions, and extra cheese. Whatever your pizza preference is, one thing that always makes pizza better is when you can harvest your own fresh herbs or veggies to top off your pie.
Superfoods are super green, and the culinary possibilities are endless. Leafy greens are easy to grow and so versatile. Now is the time to get growing and increase your intake of super greens.
The fastest-growing taco trend is veggie-friendly tacos. Adding creative veggies and herbs to your tacos is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. The Taco Toppings Garden comes with 4-6 different plants, matched to the season. From tomatoes and chives to kale and peppers, taco topping ideas are endless.
Thrive & Grow Garden:
Gardening can give you the opportunity to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle. When you garden you’re able to breathe in the fresh air, soak up some vitamin D, get in a little bit of exercise, and move your body. All of these things are crucial for your mental health and can do great things to lead to a healthier life. Gardening is also good for your mental health to unplug from technology and the daily stresses of life with a more therapeutic and natural route. Tending to your garden and actually growing your own herbs can help you become more grateful for the food you eat, the body you have, and the small wonders of the world around you.