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Old 09-15-2015, 03:30 PM
 
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I've been reading a bit about winter gardening lately, and how people have been successful in growing winter greens such as kale, collards and certain strains of mustard greens in the winter. I found some info from a seed distributor in Oregon who says that they specialize in growing winter crops, but their USDA zone is zone 8.

I am in zone 6b, and would like to make an attempt at some kale and mustards over the winter. I am aware of mulching considerations, but am not going to use a cold frame. Can it be done, and if so, which crops have you had success with?

Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:38 PM
Status: "Will global warming make indianapolis the new death valley?" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: 46060, Hardiness zone 5b/6a
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I live in Zone 6a which is slightly colder than your zone 6b, and there apparently is little to no vegetative growing in winter in the zone I am living in. I would proceed with caution with growing mustard greens and the like as while zone 6b is a bit warmer than zone 6a, your zone is closer to 6a than it is to zone 8a or 8b.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:46 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I am in 8B and gave up on that. Two years in a row I planted in September, the sprouted and got 2" tall, then stayed alive but didn't grow at all until the following May, just about the time I needed the space for spring planting.
In our case it may be due more to the lack of light, sun is rare October-May.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:52 PM
 
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I'm in 8b and had luck with collards and chard. Instead of planting it in fall, I planted seed in spring, harvested leaves sparingly throughout summer, and left the plants in all winter. It worked great for the collards especially. The collards stems got big and woody, but still put out tender leaves.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:47 AM
 
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Thanks for your input everyone! For those who responded, were there any attempts at growing kale in any of these situations?
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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Read Elliott Coleman - the winter harvest and/or the four-season harvest. Your library will have them. He grows in Maine. Four Season Farm - Welcome to the site of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch

If you google around on those terms, you will find forums that discuss this topic in depth.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I am in 8B and gave up on that. Two years in a row I planted in September, the sprouted and got 2" tall, then stayed alive but didn't grow at all until the following May, just about the time I needed the space for spring planting.
In our case it may be due more to the lack of light, sun is rare October-May.
September is too late. You need to plant earlier than that, so your plants get a better start.

Territorial Seed has some very good info on this. So does Northwest Edible Life | life on garden time.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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I have two rows of Kale that is doing great. I'm going to leave them alone and see what happens this winter. They might die under 4 feet of snow and temps at 10 below zero. A lot of people here have small (and large) green houses. Some pvc pipe, and a cover. I may do that too.
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:13 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
September is too late. You need to plant earlier than that, so your plants get a better start.

Territorial Seed has some very good info on this. So does Northwest Edible Life | life on garden time.
My problem is that I have to use a greenhouse due to the rabbits, deer, and other creatures. At this time I still have plenty of tomato, Cucumber, squash and eggplant taking up all the space. I did real well this year planting the kale, spinach and lettuce in March from seedlings started indoors, then planting the young summer crops around them. They all finished by the time the other plants grew
big enough to need the space in June. You need a lot of kale and spinach plants to get many meals out of them.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Mass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
Read Elliott Coleman - the winter harvest and/or the four-season harvest. Your library will have them. He grows in Maine. Four Season Farm - Welcome to the site of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch
Grows in a greenhouse, though.

Granted, anything that grows in Maine is a miracle, but greenhouses are a big part of continuous, year round growing.

I'm in the city on a community plot. Technically 6B, but in a microclimate that boosts us up to a 7, I'd say. Yearround goodies have always been a dream, but its too much work for just kale or brussel sprouts.

But, if I could have an heirloom tomato in February from my garden, I'd willingly sell my soul or shovelled parking spot.
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