Extend Your Gardening Season Beyond Frost by Growing Produce that Keeps

comments (3) June 26th, 2009

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Ruth Ruth Dobsevage, member
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Rouge vif détampes pumpkins form a colorful backdrop for dark green acorn squash, striped delicata, and tan butternut. All are good keepers.
Red Norland, Kennebec, and Katahdin potatoes are old stand-by varieties.
Hot peppers add color to your garden and fire to your stir-fries.
Rouge vif détampes pumpkins form a colorful backdrop for dark green acorn squash, striped delicata, and tan butternut. All are good keepers.Click To Enlarge

Rouge vif d'étampes pumpkins form a colorful backdrop for dark green acorn squash, striped delicata, and tan butternut. All are good keepers.

Photo: Ruth Dobsevage

Veggies that go straight from the garden to the table may be the stars of your kitchen garden, but don’t forget their quieter cousins: the keepers. Once the frost comes, without the protection of a cold frame most of the stars will go out, unless you took steps to freeze or can. If you grow winter squash, pumpkins, potatoes, garlic, and hot peppers, you effectively extend your garden bounty well into the fall and winter.

Winter squash come in endless variety, especially if you investigate the realm of heirlooms at Seed Savers Exchange or elsewhere. I’ve tried Delicata, a small, striped squash, and Blue Hubbard, a huge one, but my “anchor” squashes are pretty standard: butternut and acorn.

Pumpkins are fun to carve, come Halloween. They also make good eating. You won’t find them in markets after October, so why not grow some and enjoy them in pies, quick breads, soups, and stews.

Winter squash and pumpkins keep a long, long time in cool, dry place. If your house meets those conditions (and mine does), just keep them around as decorations until you are ready to eat them.

Potatoes are another low-key crop, and you can grow them in barrels if you don’t have a suitable garden space. They’ll keep for quite a while, but eventually they will sprout. Sprouted potatoes aren’t good to eat, but they can be saved and replanted in the spring.

Garlic and chile peppers also keep well. I like to hang them in bunches (garlic) and strings (chile peppers) from the ceiling beams. Both last for months.


posted in: squash, garlic, peppers, potatoes, Preserving (Canning, Drying, Freezing), pumpkins

Comments (3)

williejohnson writes: I love this vegetable
Posted: 6:13 am on November 3rd
Becca062 writes: Good luck with your move! I would be interested in good choices for the vegetable garden for this time of year as well, I'm in Zone 7. I will be trying the items mentioned in this informative article. Thanks Ruth!
Posted: 9:51 pm on June 29th
raisinggardeners writes: I am moving to Ar. to be with my daughter and grandaughter. My daughter has asked me to teach her and her daughter to garden and what we can plant this late in the season. I can email this to her as a starter. Glad to be going back South too. :-)
Posted: 1:01 am on June 29th
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