Thursday, February 04, 2010

Cabbage and Swiss Chard 2009

I started the seeds indoors, and transplanted the 8 week old seedlings out (after hardening off) on June 1st into this "saddle-style" planter on my deck railing. This is cabbage 'Caraflex' (68 days) and swiss chard 'Bionda Di Lyon' (25 days baby, 50 days bunching).I began harvesting the swiss chard in baby form on July 12th (along with an early 'Volcano' pepper and some herbs).... ...and not to be outdone, the deer harvested everything on July 25th! Rats!

They were very thorough....
....but the plants all rallied and were rather lush by August 23rd.By September 6th I got to enjoy some chard again. (Along with some herbs and peppers from elsewhere around the yard). I had considered protecting this planter with some wire mesh after the "assault", but honestly I was out and not inclined to spend the money.

There was another chard harvest on September 4th, and by the 8th there was a nice rebound under way (along with a volunteer plantain, also nutritious and more than a mere "weed")...
...and on Sept 15th it's time for a cabbage harvest. This planter was ready as well, full details of its' occupants will be for another post.
How cute are they? Even after a deer trimming, I have at least one head of cabbage, and lots of baby leaves.
I decided to leave one head for later.

Very manageable size....

....even moreso when they're trimmed! Definately pointy like the catalog said!

One head that I thought was all leaves even had a teeny pointy nugget at the center. These were exceptionally tasty, and I'm looking forward to more fresh cabbage next year. As for the head I left in the garden...


....I forgot all about it! After a couple frosts, I considered it "winter interest" by November 11th.The real story materialized on Christmas Eve, when a deer demonstrated what I neglected to learn: cabbage often tastes better after exposure to cold weather!


Point taken! I believe this year I'll take a pre-emptive strike and educate myself on "root-cellaring" ;-)

9 comments:

Colleen said...

Well, there's something I can console myself with: I may battle tree roots, squirrels, rats, and neighbors who walk to the corner store and leave booze bottles in my front hedge, but at least I don't have to deal with deer! (Just kidding -- trust me, I'd rather have the deer than the neighbors!) :-)

That pointy cabbage is really kind of cute. I'll have to keep my eye out for that.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

My lettuce did well last year but I somehow didn't get to my swiss chard til it bolted. DOH! And love the peppers. Mmmmmm..... (P.S. I sometimes winter sow as early as Dec. 21. It's all good!)

lisa said...

Colleen-I agree, deer are easier than neighbors! I got my pointy cabbage seeds from Johnny's, and this year I found a similar cultivar 'Point One' at Pinetree that matures in 48 days. I like the way the inner leaves are wrapped really tight, and the flavor was terrific!

Monica-I had a lettuce container too, these experiences are turning me into a leafy greens eater! :) I'm excited to try the winter sowing, I'll start the exact same items indoors and do a direct comparison of results. Now if the weather cooperates, and the varmints don't eat everything....

troutbirder said...

My favorite is spinach but Swiss Chard is great for me because it doesn't bolt at the first sign of hot weather. Now you've put me in a spring gardening mood waaay to early, Lisa! :)

lisa said...

LOL! It's pretty much "too early" to think of gardening here too, but veggies are a new obsession for me and I want to research companion planting, gardening by moon phases, etc.. This is a great season for R&D! ;-)

Anonymous said...

"I want to research companion planting, gardening by moon phases, etc.. "

Careful there, Girly, your OCD is showing... ;>)
v.

lisa said...

LOL! Like a dog searching for a bone...I'm on a mission! :)

Vanillalotus said...

Wow those look yummy.I'm glad you got something from your harvest after those pesky deer came by. Thank you for commenting on my blog and asking how I was. I haven't been blogging lately since I just don't have the gardening bug. I've been drained from work and the weather/money has not been cooperating here for me to do anything with plants. I work at an Herb Nursery so I get plenty of plant interaction. Thank you for the comment I'm surprised someone remembered I even had a garden blog.

lisa said...

Sorry to hear that your gardening bug took a leave of absence, I know how that can be. My last job was like a tiny gremlin sucking my soul out through a straw...I'm lucky to have made it out intact! Glad to hear that you get to keep your hands dirty at work. And I'm super glad to see that all is well...I always enjoyed your blog and missed hearing from you on mine.