When to harvest frost hardy plants?

new_gardener5September 22, 2013

I'm in zone 3 and was interested in some frost hardy vegetables like turnips, cabbage and brussels sprouts. I had a good idea of when I wanted to pull my other regular crops from just walking around this fall; how much longer can frost hardy crops like the ones listed above go for? Are there guidelines for beginners and more advanced techniques like perhaps watching day to day for weather changes? Are there any frost hardy crops out there that could also withstand a few feet of snow?

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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Many root veggies will do well for several months as long as you put a bit of loose mulch over them. If you don't do that, then the soil around them will freeze and you won't be able to pull them. With some mulch (straw is wonderful - not hay) the soil will be easier to work for a longer time. I have kept carrots in the ground until mid-December, even with snow. However, if you want them in the middle of winter, you gotta do some digging. Pull them and store them in a cool location, you won't change the taste and you won't be digging in a spot that has lots of snow!

Brussels sprouts love the cooler weather, it will make them taste so much better. I don't know what weather you have had recently, but if you expect several nights of below 30ð and/or no sun during the day, then pick them. They can be frozen for future use and still taste good. To be honest, I have never left cabbage out too long, I just get too antsy to eat it. I cannot comment on what to do for that.

Hope that your garden provided lots of tasty things. Keep a journal on what happened. You'll be glad you did.

Jim

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 5:31PM
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