It seems many a gardener spends the winter locked up inside, hiding from the chilly weather, darning socks in front of the cookstove, the gardens tucked in with mulch and awaiting the spring. But, that’s no way to be when there is a large collection of plants that adore a little frost tickling their leaves. Many plants willing to brave freezing temperatures if given the right encouragement.
In short, a good lot of us could be growing a good lot of fresh food year-round, no greenhouse necessary.
Just for fun, and because our fall garden is kicking out the good stuff so far this year, and because a few holdovers from the summer are still producing in mid-November, it felt like an appropriate time to revisit some of those plants that not only endure cold weather but improve with it.
Equally so, it’s worth remembering that, with a few tricks here and there, we can coax some of those summer gems to extend their output for a month or more.
Plants That Improve With Frost
Around these parts (North Carolina), it is well known and widely accepted that collard greens are notably and inarguably better after a frost. Though a bit more tolerant of heat than, say, kale (they will grow in the summertime), collards are planted in late summer all the same, and gardeners in the know wait to harvest any until after a good frost slaps the bitter taste away.
Last year, a mild winter, Emma and I played pick-and-eat with collards over the entire season. We let them go to seed in spring and replant themselves…
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