Posts Tagged wintertime gardening

Putting Your Vegetables to Bed

I realize in my last post I discussed planting anything you have that you’d like to get into the ground.  However, this doesn’t really apply to vegetables.  It’s the time of year when we normally eat any vegetables which are good, and toss anything that isn’t going to overwinter in your yard.

Here are some ideas of what to do with common vegetables:

Tomatoes: Pick anything that is ripe.  If you have green tomatoes, you have a few options.

The first option is to pull your plant up by the roots and hang it upside down in a dry, cool place.  This can cause some of your green tomatoes to ripen.

The second option is to cut the roots of the plant to get them to concentrate on funneling any additional fuel into your tomatoes, causing them to ripen faster.

The third option is to pick the green tomatoes, fry them up or cook them with one of the many green tomato recipes around and eat them!

Another thing to note is that if you planted tomatoes in a bed or pot one year, you should note which one so that the next year you can rotate another crop into that area.  That keeps down pests and allows the soil to recover from the nitrogen sucking tomatoes do.

Peppers: These plants can overwinter inside your home.  The idea is to pot them (don’t chop up the roots too much, get big plastic pots), and put them in a bright, warm space over the wintertime.

A few things to note about any plant you take from your yard and put into your home or other space for the winter are:

1. Make sure to rinse the plant well before putting it inside.  You are trying to get rid of any insects that may overwinter with the plant.

2. It’s best to re-pot or move plants in the evening, not in the heat of the day.

3. Don’t forget to water the plants.

Herbs: These can also be brought inside for wintertime.  Some herbs like parsley can be left outside over the winter as they are cool weather plants.  Be sure to see which herbs do best in what weather.  I would bring basil and rosemary inside, and leave parsley and lavender outside.

Garlic and Shallots: You can go ahead and plant these now.  Just remember where you plant your garlic as they take a long time to grow and will be ready to eat in early summer.

If you don’t have a vegetable garden, and you’d like to set one up, talk to your local landscaper.  There are lots of beautiful options and now is a great time to get them installed – so you can go ahead and plant as soon as Spring arrives!

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