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Winter Gardening

June 28th, 2010

Earlier this month I spent some time going through Eliot Coleman’s Book, The Winter Harvest Handbook and wrote all the dates for starting fall/winter crops on my calendar (my Chiot’s Run calendar of course). I thought I’d post a reminder for all you other zone 4-5 gardeners that are interested in winter gardening.

Usually for me, seed starting is limited to spring, so it seems weird to be starting seeds in June. I really want to have a fall/winter harvest, and that means it’s time to start fall cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. It’s also time to start leek seeds for overwintering. Next week it will also be time to start carrots for harvesting in October. I actually ordered some of the ‘Early Napoli’ carrots from Johnny’s that Eliot grows for overwintering.

I have all my fall planted crops organized in folders by type in my Seed Stash, so they’re super easy to find. I’ll be starting: ‘Long Island Improved’ brussels sprouts, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Glory of Enkhuizen’ cabbage, ‘DeCicco’ broccoli, and ‘Tadorna’ Leeks. I’m hoping all my efforts will yield a bounty of delicious veggies throughout the winter months to save me time canning and freezing this summer. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Are you trying to garden throughout the seasons?

17 Comments to “Winter Gardening”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Winter Gardening #seedsowing #wintergardening #seedstarting #winterharvest […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Winter Gardening | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. Lisa on June 28, 2010 at 6:56 am

    My husband and I have recently started gardening again and have joined a community garden. We also have a very small ( 8×10) patch off of the patio. I have never experimented with winter gardening but would love to learn. We are in central Ohio. So you are planting cauliflower and broccoli and the like from seed now for winter? Would love to know how to go about gardening in the fall and winter. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Love your website, recipes too!

    Reply to Lisa's comment

    • Susy on June 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

      Yes, I’m starting broccoli & cabbage seeds now. They’ll be moved to the garden when they have 2 sets of true leaves. Then they’ll hopefully be ready to harvest in Oct-Nov.

      I’d highly recommend getting: The Winter Harvest Handbook from the library (I purchased mine after renewing the library copy 4 times). It’s a great book if you’re interested in winter gardening. Eliot explains how to successfully harvest fresh food from you garden all winter long.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. kristin @ going country on June 28, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Oh yeah. I need to start the collard seeds right now. Thanks for the reminder . . .

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  4. Tree on June 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I was just thinking about winter gardening, as I missed summer gardening and was wondering if I started in mid-july if I would be ok. I also was directed to this book and will be hoping my library has a copy when I head over today on my lunch.

    Reply to Tree's comment

  5. Turling on June 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Oy. I can see this is going to be my downfall. Planning. I’m quite impressed with your organization.

    Reply to Turling's comment

  6. Amy @ Homestead Revival on June 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I am planning to do a year round garden this year as well – however it may be limited in what I plant. I am reading Eliot’s book the Four Season Harvest, and I’m trying to determine when I should get started with my fall crops. Technically I’m in a zone 7, but I have a bit of a microclimate here and despite all my reading and researching, I can’t determine what zone I should really be aiming for. To top this all off, our summer has been so mild that all my spring/summer crops are almost a month behind! I would love to hear some suggestions!!!

    Reply to Amy @ Homestead Revival's comment

  7. Julia on June 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! I just cleared away a patch for fall crops. Sounds like (for once) my timing’s on track.

    Reply to Julia's comment

  8. Laura on June 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I usually plant collards and this past winter I planted kale. I’m hoping to expand more this year and your post has given me a lot to consider.

    Reply to Laura's comment

  9. Chicago Mike on June 28, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Last year Susy you posted a link for Winter Sown, which is a great resource for winter gardening. I have not gotten into the winter gardening so much yet, but there was also a link for free seeds. I planted those seeds and saved some. The Blue Lake beans I got from them are the finest I have ever gotten. This year I will be returning seed to them this year.

    I am reposting the link because they are just a top level non-profit.

    Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

    • Susy on June 29, 2010 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for adding this, a great reference indeed!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Kay on June 29, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Hello. Yes, I already have some beets coming up, and I am going to plant some cabbage and turnips to see how they do. I need to get them planted this week. Additionally, my green beans did do so swell this year, so I pull them up, and am going to plant one row again to see how well they will do.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  11. Lynn on June 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I love Eliot’s book. Where did you purchase you De Cicco’ broccoli seeds? I was thinking of buying through Botanical Interests.

    Reply to Lynn's comment

    • Susy on June 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      I purchased them from , which supports the Dervaes family in their efforts.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Lynn on June 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

        Thanks Susy. I will check out the site.

        to Lynn's comment

  12. Wendy (The Local Cook) on June 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    aaack! I was just thinking about trying to do a fall/winter garden, and then I read this and discover I’m already behind. Better get to work!

    Reply to Wendy (The Local Cook)'s comment

  13. R&V on June 30, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Winter gardening is a fantastic idea. I read Coleman’s book last year and I’ve really turned into a fanatic since. We had carrots, spinach, mache and some lettuces available in our cold frame all winter and got a huge head start on spring salads and other stuff as well. To give you an idea of how successful you can be, we had our first non winter harvest in 2009 on about May 10th. With the addition of the winter garden we have had something fresh available too us every day since!! So for the last 14 months we have been able to pick some thing we have grown any day we wanted to. Winter Gardens are awesome!!

    Reply to R&V's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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