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in praise of cool-weather crops

14 years ago

This year was the first time I planted cool-weather crops, in the hopes of an early harvest.

In my defense, I grew up in a family that just didn't do greens of any sort, and for some reason, we also never grew root crops (even though we ate them). My own adult years have been spent in the city, where until now, I've never had the space for a proper garden.

This year I decided to change things. I planted turnips, broccoli raab, carrots, radishes, and snowpeas. The turnips provided a few meals worth of greens when I thinned them, and the rest are being left to their own devices to bulb up. The broccoli raab has been growing like mad, and we've had several meals from it, first via thinnings, and now via a proper harvest. I understand that the cut-back stalks may yet send up new side shoots and give us more harvests in the future. The carrots may yet be a lost cause, but only time will tell. The snowpeas are just now getting ready for a harvest, just as we're running out of greens.

This is the earliest that I've ever been able to harvest things from the garden, so it's quite exciting.

If I had things to do over, I would get most things in a little earlier than I did, actually plant the spinach and lettuce that I kept talking about, and do more with succession planting for a longer harvest.

I'm hoping to get a few of the same things in the ground again for a Fall crop, too, which is another thing I've never tried. Extending the harvest season is making me quite happy.

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