Thursday, December 8, 2011

Season Extending Greens

      One of my favorite seed catalog companies is Fedco Seeds, based in Waterville, Maine.  They have a lot of seed appropriate for their cold winters, so I believe some of those plants should bask in delight in the relative warmth of my zone 7A gardens.  While I have been doing a lot of experimenting with cold frames, much of their stuff should overwinter unprotected.  I could not figure out how to copy and paste from their internet delivered pdf catalog,,

so I took this picture from page 53 of my hard copy catalog.

From Fedco Seeds 2011 Catalog
      I have tried all of the spinaches, without much success.  They grow, but then get these tiny little pin head sized bugs that probably suck the sap.  Yet I continue to try spinach, and realize I have none planted inside the cold frames.  I should try, as maybe the little bugs won't like winter.
      The lettuce varieties I have from this list are the Tango and the Rouge d'Hiver.  Love them both, and the Tango did overwinter unprotected last year!  Anyone want to go together to buy and share some of the other lettuce varieties on the list?  Fedco has free shipping for orders over $30.00.  Can't beat that.

      I have Rainbow Lacinato kale, curly leaf kale, and Beedy's Camden kale currently in the park garden.

Beedy's Kale at top, Thick Stem Chinese Mustard at bottom, 12/8/11

Rainbow Lacinto kale on left, curly kale on right, 12/8/11

Tatsoi, 12/8/11
      The tatsoi has been a huge success.  This block of tatsoi germinated very well, and I have been thinning it to move to my cold frames, Barb's cold frames, gardeners at the park, and anyone else willing to take some.  It overwintered for me unprotected last year, and I have read numerous reports of people harvesting tatsoi from underneath a snow or ice cover.

Collards, unknown variety, 12/8/11

Savoy cabbage, unknown variety, 12/8/11
      I tried two varieties of parsley this year, but ended up feeding the bugs.  Claytonia has self seeded in one of the cold frames, and has come on to a nice rebirth in the cooler weather.  Only enough though to graze once and awhile when at the park.

Right side of back yard cold frame, 12/8/11
      The minutina is in the bottom right corner of this shot.  It is reputed to be quite cold tolerant, so probably does not to be in the cold frame.  The lettuce directly above the minutina is Winter Marvel Bibb lettuce, the only head lettuce that I am growing.  That one nice looking head may be a self Christmas present.  The tatsoi is on the bottom left, and really has done well from the transplanting and thinning.  Pak choi is in the top right corner, and although a good candidate for a fall garden, it apparently can't take the winter cold.

Left side of back yard cold frame, 12/8/11
      Some of the thick stemmed chinese mustard appears at the top next to the pak choi.  Also on the cold hardy list is arugula, the two plants at the bottom left corner.  Some of these folks from the back yard cold frame may be invited for dinner tonight.


  1. What great looking greens George! Thanks for sharing.. and for commenting on my blog. I love the Fedco catalogue, but they don't ship to Canada - gasp!! So, i read it sadly and think I should just drive down to Maine (about 8 hours) sometime to stock up on seeds at Fedco in person! :) One of these days..

  2. Hey George! Thanks for the kind offer to help me order some Fedco seeds.. I am not sure if you're allowed to ship seeds via mail without the phytosanitary cert's.. I will check into it! Thanks again.. gardeners are the most generous people! I will perhaps request a 2012 catalogue too! :)