Select the best varieties of these 3 popular winter plants – Chard, Broccoli, Peas!
Be gathering up your seeds now, start them mid August! Your transplants will go in the ground late September or October.
1) Chard is a super producer per square foot, also highly nutritious, and low, low calorie! Select early maturing varieties for eating sooner! It’s a cut-and-come-again plant. Keep taking the lower older leaves as they mature to the size you prefer!
Fordhook Giant is a mega producer, and is truly Giant!
Bright Lights/Neon Lights makes a winter garden brilliant with color! Better than flowers!
Make-you-hungry image from Harvest Wizard!
Simple Mucho Delicious Sautéed Chard Recipe!
Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with Parmesan or your favorite grated cheese, or throw in fish or chicken pieces, or bacon bits, or pine nuts and cranberries, and toss! Salt or not to taste. Oh, yes.
2) Broccoli is super nutritious, a great antioxidant, and easy to grow.
Considered to be all season:
Cruiser (58 days to harvest; uniform, high yield; tolerant of dry conditions)
Green Comet (55 days; early; heat tolerant)
All Season F1 Hybrid is my current fav! The side shoots are abundant and big, easier and faster harvesting! The plants are low, they don’t shade out other plants, and compact, a very efficient footprint!
Calabrese: Italian, large heads, many side shoots. Loves cool weather. Does best when transplanted outside mid-spring or late summer. Considered a spring variety (matures in spring). Disease resistant. 58 – 80 days
DeCicco: Italian heirloom, bountiful side shoots. Produces a good fall crop, considered a spring variety. Early, so smaller main heads. 48 to 65 days
Green Goliath: Early heavy producer, tolerant of extremes. Prefers cool weather, considered a spring variety. 53-60 days
Waltham 29 Cold resistant, prefers fall weather but has tolerance for late summer heat. Late 85 days.
Green Comet: Early-maturing (58 days) hybrid produces a 6-inch-diameter head and is very tolerant of diseases, heat tolerant.
Packman: Hybrid that produces a 9-inch-diameter main head in 53 days. Excellent side-shoot production.
3) PEAS are because you love them! They come in zillions of varieties. Plant LOTS! I plant some of each, the English shelling peas in a pod, snow or Chinese flat-pod peas, and the snap peas that are fat podded crisp snacks that usually don’t make it home from the garden! Snow and snaps are great in salads. Well, so are shelled peas! Snow peas can be steamed with any veggie dish or alone. Fresh English peas require the time and patience to hull them, but are SO tasty who cares?!
For more varieties info, click here
F is Fusarium resistant, AAS is All America Selection, PM is Powdery Mildew resistant
China, snow, or sugar
F Dwarf Grey Sugar
F Mammoth Melting Sugar
Snap (thick, edible pods)
AAS, PM Sugar Ann (dwarf)
PM Sweet Snap (semi-dwarf)
PM Sugar Rae (dwarf)
PM Sugar Daddy (stringless, dwarf)
AAS Sugar Snap
Whether you get these exact varieties or not, mainly, I’m hoping you will think about how different varieties are, of any kind of plant, whether that plant is suitable for your needs, if it has disease resistance/tolerance, heat/frost tolerance, if it is an All America Selection, what its days to maturity are. A few extra moments carefully looking at that tag or seed pack can be well worth it.
Next week: August in Your Garden!