Home Gardening in the City Blog

Gardening in the City Blog
Winter/Early Spring Greens PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 March 2017 11:13

Have a garden box that you grew beets, chard, escarole, kale, spinach in? When the cold weather sets in you might want to consider keeping these going. They are all pretty sturdy and cold resistant vegetables. They are also some of the most healthy greens you can eat. These dark leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C, A, folic acid, and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium. They are also a good source of fiber in the diet. All in all, eating these winter greens can be a big help in the cold weather when nasty visitors like the flu arrive. It doesn't take too much effort to turn a garden box or small section into a cold frame. If you already have a garden box, you are already half the way there. Find some translucent, heavy plastic (you can find this at Home Depot or a hardware store) and fasten it over the wood frame. Keep moist inside, but often you will find there will be condensation when the sunlight heats it up. You might want to raise one side up higher with wood so the snow or ice doesn't sit on it. If there is a small section of the garden where the greens are you can buy small ready made tents or frames made with plastic (from an online garden supply site) or get creative and rig one up yourself. Beet greens are rich and vitamins and a good cleanser for the system. The small leaves are good in salads, the larger ones can be stir fried or steamed.

Swiss Chard is tasty like spinach but without the bitter taste. It makes a great addition to salads and can be substituted for beet greens or spinach.
Kale is another winter favorite. It comes in a variety of colors and leaf shapes. It is a good source of fiber and tastes great fried up with onions and oil or butter. It is a little on the tough side and does need to be steamed or fried.
Escarole looks a little like lettuce but has thicker leaves with more flavor. It is used in Italian cooking, often sauteed with butter or wine, or as a lettuce substitute in salads.
The humble Dandelion is prized for its leaves which are said to have medicinal properties. (some say they help prevent cancer) If you pick them outside your garden (make sure nobody used any nasty herbicides around them). They have a bitter taste but are added to liven up the taste of salads.
Spinach is another staple cooked or used raw in salads. With a little added protection from the cold it can last well into the winter.
A good idea for cleaning these greens is to soak in cold water with a little salt added. Then give them an additional rinse with cold water. There are plenty of other greens not mentioned here that can be grown in the cold. Everything from collard greens to bok choy can continue growing with a little help when the weather gets cold. The health benefits of these greens really justify a little extra effort to keep them going outside in the winter.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 March 2017 11:17
Waking up to Spring PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 13:51
Finally, the weather has warmed up. The bulbs are raring to go here. Can't wait to start some veggies and flowers for spring inside. Cleaning up the leaves and dead growth is the task now.


Here are the early tulips and daffies starting out.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:05
Garden 2016 recap PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 January 2017 10:28
Here are some favorites from the 2016 Summer Garden. Enjoy!

Tasty, spicy nasturtiums!


water garden

monarch and mimosa


Last Updated on Saturday, 14 January 2017 11:10
Summer August 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 August 2016 13:37

The growing season is going full tilt here.
Tomatoes and cayenne peppers are loving the heat and sun. Greens don't take so well especially lettuce. These tend to bolt. We've been hit with a pear rust blight here, so trimming the spotted leaves and spraying with organic fungus fighter have become a routine.
Here are the latest views of the garden:

Last Updated on Monday, 08 August 2016 13:49
Summer Garden Time is Here PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 July 2016 15:02

Eating deep in the season is recommended for a healthy diet. When you have your own garden, you have to harvest and eat what you are growing when it's ready. This has been a busy year, with volunteering and work but here are photos of the urban garden. See the news section for information on the new community garden that's taken root on the Island section of Jersey City.

Homegrown salad
This is a mix of cherry tomatoes, nasturtiums, mesclun mix, basil and chives. A dash of oil and vinegar and it's ready to eat

The box with wire fencing is necessary on a cliff where critters such as skunks, racoons, groundhogs, squirrels and possums hang out. Varmints love to sample tomatoes, greens, cukes, etc. and then toss them!

This lily is still going after 25 years!!

We've had a great season for butterflies. Many tiger and black swallowtails and this type pictured. They and the bees love the Mimosa tree.

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 July 2016 15:26
« StartPrev12345678910NextEnd »

Page 2 of 17

Related Items

photo: Jeannie Cote


Follow guitargal77 on Twitter

Subscribe in a reader

DigInDirt.com Garden Blogs

Kinetic Fountains Award

HappyCow's Vegetarian Guide

The Animal Rescue Site

Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.