Archive for cold weather vegetables

Growing Indoor Winter Vegetables

Growing Indoor Winter Vegetables can be fun and keep your family supplied with fresh vegetables all winter long.

growing winter vegetables
Depending upon where you live when winter rolls around, you can forget about getting local fresh vegetables in your diet. You can purchase vegetables which are shipped from across the country, but there’s nothing quite like having that fresh from the garden taste in the dead of winter. Some food enthusiasts may be able to extend the taste of summer by growing indoor winter vegetables. Does this interest you?

One method of growing indoor winter vegetables is to set up a hydroponics garden. This type of gardening uses specific nutrient compounds to grow vegetables, but does not use soil. It can easily be done indoors, but depending upon the vegetables you’d like to grow it can take up a good amount of space.

Hydroponics gardens can be made at home for as cheaply as $50-$80 for a small garden, but they can cost considerably more and require regular attention to ensure that everything is working properly. You can find plenty of instructions for hydroponic gardening either online, at the library or by purchasing books. You’ll also need a system of grow lights to provide the plants with all of the light they need.

You can also create large container gardens to enable you to grow fresh vegetables during the winter months. Large pots set near a window which gets between six to eight hours of natural sunlight during the day work best. This enables the plants to get real sunlight rather than having to depend upon a grow light system. If you live in an area which doesn’t get the recommended amount of light, grow lights are a viable alternative.

Grow small plants such as herbs or salad greens in a window sill such as in the above photo, if the window gets plenty of direct sunlight during the day. These plants can be grown and, as they become mature, snipped off for use in the various dishes you prepare for your family. Look at local home improvement or gardening centers for kits which are designed for use indoors. The end of the season is a great time to shop for them, too, as they will likely be marked down dramatically.

Hanging pots are another option for growing indoor winter vegetables. You’ll want to be sure the pot is hanging on a joist so it doesn’t fall from the ceiling. The pot will also have to be hung low enough to get the direct sunlight the plants need.

Which plants are best suited to growing indoors? That really depends upon the time and effort you want to expend. Some people have been able to grow peppers, salad greens, cherry tomatoes and various herbs. You may be able to grow other plants indoors as well, but remember – whatever plants you grow, you will have to pollinate them yourself since there won’t be flies, butterflies and bees to do it for you.

Once you’ve become an old pro at growing indoor winter vegetables, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start your seedlings for your spring garden, too. Growing your own vegetables in the colder months isn’t difficult, but it does take quite a bit of patience. Given the time and conditions they need, you could be enjoying the fruits of your labor long before spring arrives.

Cool Weather Vegetables

 Favorite Cool Weather Vegetables 

Cool weather vegetables can generally be planted in Spring as soon as the soil can be worked and again in the Fall. They do not do well during the hot months of Summer.

Radish: They sprout easily and quickly, and can be harvested in just three to four weeks. Make successive plantings every 10-14 days through mid-Spring  for continuous harvest. There are many kinds of radishes. Plant several different kinds until you find your top 3 favorites, you know you and your family will enjoy to eat. The tops or leaves of the radish are edible and can be used in a mixed garden salad. They will add vitamins and minerals to your meals. Just wash and dry them before tossing them in the salad. There is very little waste in a radish.

Arugula: This spicy green grows easily in pots or raised beds. Let some of the plants go to seed and you’ll find it popping up all over the place. It can be served raw in simple salads or cooked in soups, but perhaps our favorite way to use it is scattered on top of a fresh homemade pizza.

Snow pea and/or sugar snap pea: Snow peas have edible pods and should be harvested just as you can see the seeds forming inside for the most tender crop. Sugar snap peas get a bit fatter, but you eat the pod with this variety, too. Sugar snap peas are climbers and require the support of a trellis or wire support system. Snow peas come in both “bush” varieties, that don’t require support, and climbing varieties.

cool weather vegetables

Swiss chard: Grown for both its greens and the stalks, Swiss Chard is easy to grow and it can be continuously harvested for months. It’s a great option for growing in containers, too.

Green onions: Plant seeds or slice the roots from your purchased green onions and bury them about ½ inch underground. They’ll sprout again, and you can trim off the green stems as you need them. The stems can be used in salads, dressings or sauteed with meat.

There are many cold or cool weather vegetables. Most are easy to grow or maintain in containers or small raised beds. It may take a couple of growing seasons to find your favorite but don’t give up as fresh cool weather vegetables are well worth the effort.

Coming Soon!

 

growingwhatyoueat.com

Coming Soon!:

A full report on growing fresh vegetables and turning them into food saving ideas for your family food budget.  Learning to use the food that you grow, can produce better meals for your family and leave you smiling.   While using them the right way can save you money in your food budget, trying new recipes instead of the same old ones, can make you a queen in the eyes of your family and friends.

Frost Free Timeline For Vegetables In Your Area

Learning The Frost Free Time Line For Vegetables In Your Area

Trying to figure out when to plant vegetables in your area can be time consuming and requires a little detective work. It all depends on your geographic location, your frost free dates, the type of vegetables you plan to grow and how you intend to plant them (seedlings, transplants or seeds). All of these will factor into the timing of getting your plants or seeds into the ground at the proper time.

You will need to find out your average last frost date in the spring and when to expect the first hard frost date in the fall. It is next to impossible to predict these dates with absolute certainty, that’s why you ask for the average date.

Don’t let that stop you from planting as the internet can give you valuable resources to finding an answer to those two most important dates. Do a quick online search with “frost free date” in the search box, add your hometown’s name and within seconds you will have several answers.

When planning your garden planting time line, remember these two important dates as virtual “bookends” around your prime vegetable growing season. If you start seeds indoors, as I do, or protect your plants from cold temperatures with mulch, cold frames, row covers or mini-hoop houses, you can extend your growing season even further. I use row covers not only as protection from the cold but to keep away bugs and other insects from my maturing plants.

Beautiful Red Radishes

Beautiful Red Radishes, So Good For You.  You can sow several plantings of these during your frost free timeline.

When selecting your seed packets, pay close attention to the Maturity Time Line” listed on the package. It will normally tell you how long your plants should be in the ground before they are ready for you to eat. Some plants, such as radishes will have 30-40 days listed but others such as corn will have any where from 60 to 90 days until their maturity is reached. You will not want to wait until late July to plant corn but radishes will still do great at that date. It’s all in the timing of the planting.

It is well worth the effort to learn when to plant vegetables in your area. Learning when your prime growing season begins and ends by gauging your frost free dates, will make you a much better food gardener. It will, also, help you decide which vegetables to choose and how to help those varieties thrive in your vegetable garden.

For more information on what seeds or plants to choose, you might want to look at this post from last summer.

http://growingwhatyoueat.com/3-types-of-vegetable-seeds-heirlooms-hybrids-and-gmos/

Broccoli, A Cold Weather Vegetable Garden Favorite

Broccoli is one of the all time favorite cold weather vegetable garden plants. For the most part, it is easy to grow, makes an impressive plant in your garden but the best part is, it’s very good for you.

Broccoli good for the body

Broccoli, A Favorite Cold Weather Vegetable Does The Body Good

Broccoli as most of us know it, is one of the flowering vegetable. It is thought, by many health experts, to help prevent diseases, among them being some forms of cancer. Broccoli is a rich source of nutrients which helps to fight off many illnesses and promotes better health in it’s eaters.

Broccoli is known to be very low in calories [about 30 per cup], an excellent source of Vitamin C, A, K and the B complex group of vitamins. It’s also has healthy minerals such as, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zine and phosphorus. It’s an all around health pill in vegetable form.

When selecting your Broccoli, choose the freshest you can find. You want it a bright deep green in color, with firm flowerettes and stalk. Look at the ends of the stalks, to be sure they aren’t showing signs of splitting or decaying. Both are signs that it has seen better days and not fit for you to feed you or your family.

You can store your fresh Broccoli in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before use but if you know you wont be using it in that time, you may want to slice a thin piece off the bottom of the stalks, then place the whole plant in an upright postion in a jar, with about on inch of water. Cover the flowering part of the plant with a loose fitting piece of plastic and it should keep for up to a week, in this manner.

Keep your cooking method for the Broccoli on the simple side. Steaming, roasting or raw, is the best way to keep all those good vitamins and minerals in working order to do your body good. When we over cook vegetables such as Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and other root vegetables we loose almost 50% of their food value.

Quick and easy recipes for Broccoli and it’s family, can be found on our sister site http://FoodShoppingOnABudget.com

So when it comes to choosing your cold weather vegetable be sure to check out the Broccoli family for good tasting and good for you, eats.