My winter garden is still going, lost a few greens due to frost but I still have plenty to tend too. Mustard is still coming in strong, I’ve planted several others so I can keep harvesting year round. I plant nearly every 10-15 days inside and after several weeks transport them back outside after hardening them off. By planting so often, I will have greens to be harvested nearly every week. Once I harvest one set, the next is ready the next week, and so on. You just keep harvesting off in a rotation till the plant cycle is finished, by that time, a new one is taking it’s place already. You can do this with most greens, carrots even (which if planted in cold frames and covered in straw can be harvested through winter)
Compared to Collards, Mustard greens are milder and they aren’t as tough. Kale is somewhere in between the two, and all three can be planted for a winter garden as well as summer. I lost my Kale plants to frost this week. Somehow the frost cover got blown off the two kale plants, but I didn’t lose everything! I’ve already planted a new batch which will go out to the cold frame sometime next month.
Guess what I have growing in the garden ?
Take note that Broccoli can be planted for a summer and fall garden in most places but must be harvested before frost. They take 90 days to harvest. If you want them for the summer, plant them in spring of course, for fall gardens plant mid summer. If you want them for winter ( in certain areas) you plant them at the beginning of fall and will have to transfer them into a structure of some kind to shield them from the cold.
It does freeze in our area (Northern CA) , so it is a problem to deal with. All my winter plants are in the cold frame with an added bonus of protection. It’s taken a lot of planning to keep them protected and thriving, so it isn’t easy even in my area.
To make sure frost stays off my plants I cover them with a frost blanket or throw. These light weight blankets keep the frost off, but let the plants breath and let sunlight in. I also throw straw down to help keep whatever heat the ground has in there longer.
If you have a cold frame, remember you will be watering so much less than before, the ground will retain more moisture within the structure, and never water at night, which can drop the ground temp very quickly.
If you have any smaller plants and the leaves are a little too fragile like a newly transplanted seedling, you can use a milk jug or any plastic bottle to make a greenhouse for them during the night. Simply cut the bottom off (about an inch up from the bottom) and place the top over the plant. This way smaller plants have an even better chance of surviving through the winters worst. This would also be a great way to start your seedlings outside. Start saving milk jugs during the fall so you can have enough for spring planting.