Extend Your Gardening Season Beyond Frost by Growing Produce that Keepscomments (2) June 26th, 2009
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, potatoes, peppers, Preserving (Canning, Drying, Freezing), pumpkins