It’s Only August, But I’m Thinking About My Winter Garden
We have the awesome gift of a temperate climate here in the Bay Area, which means that we can garden throughout the year and into the winter. Plus, I love love love greens like kale and chard.
Winter Garden Seedlings: Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale) & Rainbow Chard
I’ve tended to buy plant starts but this year I wanted to try out starting more plants from seed. I ordered a bunch of seeds from Territorial Seed & Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and bought others at Flowercraft, my fave SF garden center. Here’s a look at some of the seedlings I started for a fall + winter garden. They’re currently on my deck, and as they grow I’ll pot them up. I won’t have space for a lot of them until after the tomatoes come out in late October or early November.
Beira Tronchuda (Portugese Kale), Purple Orach & a bunch of herbs.
Look at that crazy beautiful color on the purple orach!
Beira Tronchuda – Portugese Kale
I started these from Territorial seed about 2-3 weeks ago. I start my seeds in leftover 6 pack containers from other garden center purchases. I just potted them up into 4″ pots. They’ll eventually get planted in the community garden, but I want them to get bigger first. Smaller plant starts tend to get thoroughly devoured at the garden, but larger plants seem to fend for themselves better.
I haven’t grown or eaten Portugese kale before but I’m super excited to try it. (I know, I say that about everything. But it’s true.) It’s supposed to have a really tasty flavor — somewhere on the continuum between kale and cabbage. It’s technically a cabbage, but with loose leaves, so it won’t form a cabbage-y head.
Kale and cabbage are in the Brassicas family. All things I love. For the most part, all plants that do well in San Francisco’s cool climate — we can grow these year-round here. They require a good amount of care though — with lots of nutrients to grow to their fullest. When they’re small, I feed them a few spoonfuls a week of a liquid fertilizer made from worm castings in the worm bin (homemade!) on my deck. Or a diluted fish + seaweed liquid fertilizer that I bought recently to try out. When I potted this one up I added about a teaspoon or so of organic dry slow release fertilizer, so help feed it as the plant grows.
Rubine Brussels Sprouts
This little baby start will grow up to have purple brussels sprouts. That’s the plan anyway. The winter garden plan is finally bringing in more of the purple plants I wanted to showcase for my purple garden obsession.
What are you planning to grow for the fall & winter?
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