Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Soon to be winter garden update

I was out Sunday afternoon to wrap up my broccoli in row cover. For the next 5 days the highest day time temp is supposed to be 2c(36f ) and the coldest night temp is supposed to be -9c(16f) with light snow most days. Thankfully the snow just sticks overnight and melts by the afternoon. This will not be the case soon, from the middle of December on we are usually under snow 90% of the time until the spring.

The broccoli heads are a little bigger then a golf ball right now. I am not holding much hope for them but who knows it could always warm up some time next week. Am I being overly optimistic?

The brussels sprouts are ready to start being harvested on the lower portion of the stem. They develop in succession up the stem. They have held up pretty well to the cold but I'm not sure if the higher sprouts will develop any larger.

Taken at 7am, this melted by 10am.

The largest sprouts

The beets are not going to produce, I planted them way to late. I have picked some of the greens though so it is not a total loss.

Also taken at 7am, they are not liking
the nightly snow covering.

The radishes also don't seem to like the snow. They are looking decidedly wilted. We have eaten a few of them but the slugs have been doing more grazing then I have.

The garlic I just planted about a month ago has almost all sprouted except for about 3. I am very surprised to see that they sprouted already in the cold. I read some more about growing garlic and it is not uncommon for them to sprout before spring and it should be fine. I'm glade I planted them deep because if the sprouts are damaged by the cold they should still be fine below the soil.

I came across this bat hanging on the foundation. It kind of freaked me out because I found it well I was putting the row cover on and was face to face with the beast. It was barely alive from the cold and I imagine was on the foundation because it is south facing. It did fly away because it was gone the next morning. We have loads of bats in the yard and I often watch them catching bugs at dusk. We have even had one in the house once, I'm not going to get into that story but lets just say I didn't handle it well.

Lastly, I finished the cold frame and will post about it near the need of the week once I get it all set up.


  1. It's great to see how you are stretching the garden so late. I should have attempted fall broccoli. I'm sure you'll enjoy the brussels sprouts when you harvest them.

  2. Dan - I hope your broccoli makes it....it's so close to being ready for harvest! UGH! Anyway, good louck..


  3. It is quite a winter garden. Yes, I agree your garlic will be just fine. Sprouting prior to cold is normal. It will disappear for a while but then come back. That bat is a bit freaky for sure.

  4. Your Brussels look amazing. WOW! I used to hate Brussels when I was younger... then one day BAM, I loved them to death! Like Tina said, the garlic will be fine. I have a whole bed of garlic, and love all of it. My garlic is over 200yrs old, and has the most pungent taste out of any garlic that I have ever tried! Mine sprouted also, and right now it is the only thing green in the yard except for the grass... and even that is debatable! IF you have any ?'s on garlic. I have a post on it.

    here is the URL:

  5. The heads on your broccoli look great! I just grow broccoli leaves. ;)

  6. How wonderful that you can still have broccoli and brussel sprouts in the winter. I'll plan on growing them next year. I didn't realize they could survive so well, even in snowy weather!

  7. Dan,
    Thanks for the link to the brussels sprouts article. I doubt my summer is too warm, I'm betting it's more of a problem with lack of fertilization over the course of such a long growing season. Next year I'll do a better job of enriching the soil and side dressing every couple of weeks.

  8. I'm impressed that you are getting broccoli this late, even if it is golf ball size.
    I thought I was just growing leaves, like Jan, then one day in late September or early October, can't remember when, I had a meals worth from the 3-4 plants that I was growing, and that was with limited sun.
    Had you harvested more heads from those plants earlier in the season? I'm getting more heads, smaller, though, but I'm in Boston, further south.

  9. Funny you should write about seeing a bat and then I read this post http://blog.gardeners.com/ about bats. There was something in the paper last week about bats, too. What's up with bats?

  10. Emily - This year I plant the broccoli near the end of aug. I think next year I am going to plant 2-3 weeks earlier so I can harvest before it gets so cold.

    EG - Thanks, it is not looking the greatest at the moment.

    Tina - I was glade the bat was not moving much.

    Organic Gardener - I don't remember eating many brussels sprouts when I was a youngster either. That is a really old garlic variety you have. Thanks for the link.

    Jan - Yours look like they should develop a head soon.

    DP - They sure can take a lot of cold. The broccoli has not been doing so well that last couple days with the deep freeze though.

    Emily - Your welcome for the link. I am definitely going to use one of their suggested varieties next year.

    Sally - These are a second planting of broccoli. The first crop did produce side shoots to though. I tried to get a second crop of full heads but I think I plant it to late.

    Marci - I guess the bats want more fame then just Halloween, lol.

  11. I cannot believe you are getting crops with snow falling up there! Way too cool stuff...

    You sent us the cold way down here and my veggie garden is all gone bye bye now... sigh. Oh well, next year...

    The bat is way cool. We have them in our yard also. We had a large colony living in the attic vents until we replaced the vents. Now they cannot fit in the vents.. Poor things had to find a new home elsewhere...

  12. Skeeter - I recall seeing those bat pictures on your blog, that was a lot of bats. I imagine we have bats in out attic but I try not to look.

    The cole crops have done pretty well up until the last couple days. The temperature dropped to about 17f one night and things are not looking to good after that. They may still make it though if it warms up.

  13. You didn't handle the bat at all lol lol I am surprised you handled this bat lol

  14. I hope your bat found a warm place to hang out, poor little guy didn't look like his fur would really keep him very warm in those temps.

    And hey, a small broccoli harvest is better than no broccoli harvest!

    My wife and I can't get enough of the stuff.