Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Possibly My Last Harvest Post Of 2008

It is hard to believe that it is inching closer to December already. It seems like just yesterday I had a lush veggie patch full of produce. Now all I have left is naked brussels sprout stalks, some flat broccoli and an empty cold frame. Kind of a bummer actually but with my second year of vegetable gardening ahead of me, things should be even better next year.

With the cold spell we had last week I headed out for what maybe my last harvest of 2008 and came up with some brussels sprouts and radishes.

I stripped most of the leaves off the brussels sprouts to make harvesting easier and was able to pick about half of the sprouts. The rest were to small to pick. I am still hopeful that I may get a second harvest out of them if the weather stays in their favor. I think the following reasons are the culprit for the sprouts not developing so well:
  • The first being I plant to early, brussels sprouts are recommend to be planted late spring/early summer so the sprouts start to develop in September not August.
  • The second problem was they kept falling over due to their size & weight. Next season I am going to stake at planting time to keep ahead of their growth.
  • The third thing working against me was they received to much shade in the fall once the sun angle lowered. I will plant them in the lower beds next year as it receives much more sun.
  • Finally I am going to plant an F1 variety next year that yields better and grows shorter. I am either going to grow Bubbles or Jade Cross E as they are supposed to be the best varieties.
Now for the broccoli, I thought they were done for. When I uncovered them today they seem to be pretty unharmed. The heads still look okay and what looked like leaf damaged during the cold snap now looks fine. They certainly are a little flat from the snow covering, asides from that they seem to be in good order. I will leave them in, still hopeful an act of god will happen and I will be harvesting 2lb heads of broccoli. Next year I will be following the Ministry of Agriculture's recommended planting date of July 15th for late broccoli, not my planting date of August 5th.

Lastly about the cold frame. During the day the temperature inside is going higher then the outside temperature even on cloudy days. At night though it is matching the outside temperature pretty closely. The soil is nice and loose inside with the outside soil being frozen about an inch down. This week is suppose to be above freezing so I am going to go ahead and plant some seed. If they grow great, if not I will try again in March when the season gets a little less nasty.


  1. Dan - that's great that your broccoli looks as good as it does, I would have expected much worse, because of the low temps. That's good info on the coldframe, you've got me wanting to build one now!


  2. That is an excellent harvest for it being so late in upper New York, you should be very proud. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. eg - I was expecting much worse as well. I checked them last week after the coldest night and they literally had icicles hanging from them and the leaves went blotchy. Some warmer temps later and they still look pretty good. These things are tuff.

    tina - It is surprising the weather some veggies can withstand.

  4. I love how many brussels that you had. I wish I could grow them....I agree with you, i can't believe that it is also almost Dec. Hey I how you have a Happy Thanks Giving!

  5. Way to go Dan! Glad to see you got harvest from them. Saw the temp on the side at freezing. Not good. Hope your coldframe handles the weather better!

  6. Zach - No room for brussels sprouts? I hope they keep growing so I can pick the rest. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

    Sinfonian - 32f is pretty much seasonal this time of year and it is great compared to last week. The bad part is there is not much to grow this time of year.

  7. Wow, those brussel sprouts are getting a little bit on the tall side ;)

  8. Parsec - They have grown very tall, almost 4 feet. I hope they make it through the winter so I can harvest some sprouts in the early spring.

  9. It's amazing the conditions plants can endure.

    I do most of my growing indoors with hydroponics so I don't see a lot of the really amazing things until I sit down at the computer.

    Nice harvest!