The wintertime garden is in whole swing at WLTX. This calendar year we’re not defending the plants from the cold. Here’s which crops are proving to be the most chilly tolerant.

COLUMBIA, SC — I’ve been so hectic in the garden the past couple of months, and I imagine I acquired a small split. I nonetheless want to see plants, though. Which is exactly where the wintertime back garden comes in!

Compared with the summertime, you will find no have to have to be concerned about watering, bugs, weeding or fertilizing this time of the yr. Communicate about a aid! The only variable in the winter garden is intense cold, and that influences some vegetation additional than many others. 

I resolved this yr I am not going to deal with my attractive greens with a frost fabric so I can see which plants are the most cold tolerant and in the end the least expensive upkeep. I have made some attention-grabbing observations that will enable any gardener extend their increasing period with very little energy!  

The wintertime backyard following 25F

Some lettuce varieties are unreliable when temperatures fall underneath 25F. Romaine would seem to be specifically sensitive. These vegetation began to clearly show indications of injury at 25 levels and at 20 levels, I lost about 70% of the romaine lettuce. Cauliflower and broccoli plants survived temperatures down to 25F, but the budding florets were being wrecked at these temperatures. Final calendar year I covered the lettuce and cauliflower with frost cloths at 25 degrees and there was no harm.

The lettuce and cauliflower vegetation in milder pieces of the garden survived 20F (our coldest early morning so much this winter season) devoid of protection. Bibb lettuce had no damage even in the chilly parts of my garden. That was a definitely pleasant shock! Some of the fancy leaf lettuce kinds (I was not specified a cultivar name) also survived our coldest morning without the need of any trouble. There are some versions of lettuce that are reportedly trusted down to 10F temperatures. That should give a lot of gardeners up north (and below in the south) some hope! 

The winter season backyard garden right after 20F

Cauliflower and broccoli plants acquired a lot of harm for the duration of our coldest morning of the winter so considerably which was formally 20F in Columbia, SC. A couple of of my broccoli and cauliflower crops survived the deep freeze, but most appear to be a whole reduction. 

I am content to report lots of crops survived our coldest early morning so far this winter without the need of any challenges. Kale, cabbage, pansies, arugula, and cardoon endured no foliage burn. Parsley and cilantro had a minor cosmetic damage, but suffered no big challenges. My parents’ parsley plants in New York Town are even now environmentally friendly in January much too, and which is soon after 6 inches of snow and 19F. I have no worries about people in South Carolina! The lettuce varieties I talked about earlier mentioned like the bibb, fancy leaf, and a couple of blessed romaine plants managed quite well by means of this tough freeze.

Seeds that germinate outside in the wintertime

Winter season is a fantastic time to sow seeds in the ground for the early spring back garden. I changed the cauliflower with new seeds and they’re presently sprouting irrespective of temperatures in the 50s through the working day with evenings in the 30s. I planted kohlrabi and broccoli rabe seeds with the cauliflower and had prosperous germination on all those as properly. I started arugula seeds in November and now I have leaves to choose for my January salads! I sowed spinach and lettuce seeds on my porch in early January and an anticipating those to be completely ready for buying in March.  My arugula seeds sprouted wonderfully and right after 2 months are all set to be picked. I begun snow peas from seed in the slide. The vegetation germinated but have not developed substantially in the latest months. They seem to be dormant appropriate now, but were absolutely unharmed by the 20F weather.  

Linked: Gandy’s Garden: Lessons acquired gardening in 2020