Growing crops in winter successfully!

Blue Kale and Sweetpeas

Last years Blue Kale crops and some Sweet peas

Folks it is still winter on the homestead…well sort of. According to our, (outdated?) calendar, we are still in winter season. Problem is, winter, for us, technically, has been over for weeks. In fact we have already planted some stuff in our garden, not in a green house, and it is successfully growing. Things we have had planted for a few years, that usually comes up around the end of March, officially spring, is already growing and has been for weeks. SO because we are up on all the changes taking place and aware of the changes announced by the USDA in the planting zones (2012) and because we live out in nature daily, actually about 90 percent of my day is spent out in the forest, we have learned to see things differently. I also am an empath, as some of you may know, and intuition is a large part of how I look at the world and every aspect in it, including people.

So I decided to plant some seed. Nothing to crazy, I stuck o cool weather crops. However, when I seen nature waking early and watched as wild mustard grew and became as green as a Crayola crayon, I decided it was time to plant mustard in the garden as well as collards, and some other goodies. Again, all successful. So what does this mean? Well it means you need to come out of your winter blues slumber and get out there and start your garden now! Strawberries and potatoes and onion sets can be seen in our Walmart here, in fact we bought onions and strawberries and planted the onions already. Over 100 sets, in fact. The strawberries we will wait on because we still have to get some black plastic, but we will be planting them soon.

avacado-tree-2016

Avocado tree sprouting and growing in Missouri

At Dogwood Hollow Homestead we grow food not for a hobby, but because we live as self sufficient as possible. So we grow food to eat! So it is to our advantage to get as many crops into the soil as possible at the earliest possible time. As our last few winters have been getting shorter and shorter and spring coming earlier and earlier, as it seems, we decided to start seeds this month, February. Some seed we knew would grow. Others we planted to see what happens. For those of you that understand and know what is going on with the changing of earth’s climates, it is highly recommended to plant seed at earlier, now, as an experiment to see what you might be able to grow earlier.

We started planting some seed the second week of February and almost all we planted has came up and still growing successfully. Only a few did not, but we planted a few old seeds which could be the reason. We have been growing our own organic food for almost 7 years and we plant only heirloom seed. So here is 10 crops we have growing at the homestead:

  • Red Romaine Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Turnips/Turnip Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Collards
  • Green Onions (planted last year)
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic (planted in the fall)
  • German Chamomile (planted last year)
  • Thyme (planted last year)
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Cherry Belle Radish
  • Daikon Radish
  • Echinacea (planted last year)

Raised beds filled with humanure

Garden boxes ready to be planted

Now although those are things we planted either last season (for perennial) or recently (successful experiment), there are a few more crops that you are already supposed to be able to plant now, or at least within a few weeks of today’s date. According to the historical and farmers almanac records for Tx. County Missouri, here is a list of some crops that you should be able to plant now successfully. Some crops should be covered with plastic when the night temperatures occasionally drop pretty cold, but for the most part these crops are cool weather anyhow.

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • All Greens
  • Lettuces
  • Snow peas
  • Sweet peas
  • Potatoes
  • Onion bulbs
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Strawberries

 If you are new to gardening and do not know where to turn, hopefully this information can get you started. After looking around the area, I have already noticed Walmart and other stores have their seeds and gardening stuff available. So apparently they know the value of the season change as well! Good luck and keep growing!

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