Say hello to some January carrots
I don’t mean to be too much of a nag, but…have you considered your fall garden yet?
With the two greenhouses, I need to have seedlings planted in them by first frost. Trouble is, they need to be of Goldilocks size: not too big, not too small, just right. Especially the lettuces. Too big and the cold, once it comes to stay, really hits the leaves hard, turning them to mush; too small, I won’t see a harvest until March, just right, I can harvest them from November through February.
But not everyone has greenhouses to consider. It is the perfect time to sow a row or three of cool-loving crops. Have a trellis that’s empty? Try fall peas. Too scared to try the martian-spaceship of the vegetable world, kohlrabi? It, likewise, loves the cool of the fall, and can take frosts too. In fact, many of the brassica family (turnips, rutabaga, collards, broccoli) do quite well if you plant them now, and you can even harvest some of them from under the snow, like we do.
I haven’t planted the lettuces yet. Because they sprout so readily, they’ll be too big for my overwintering needs; they’ll do fine as fall salad items now though. But I have planted first crops of kohlrabi, lacinato (dinosaur) kale, and fennel, as they really appreciate coming into ripeness in October: they’re not pithy, or too big, and, in fennel’s case, it’s usually too cool for it to go to seed (which often happens, disappointingly, to spring-planted fennel). And carrots, like those above, have been succession-planted every two weeks all summer long. There is nothing as sweet as a winter-harvested carrot!