The Most Cold-Tolerant Crops for Your Vegetable Garden

Good evening everybody and welcome to the Row by Row Garden Show. I’m Travis and I’m Greg and we’re glad you joined us tonight We’ve got a great show planned for you. We’re gonna talk about cold tolerance tonight had a little cool spell come through here so we’re gonna talk about Which plants are more cold tolerant than others Have our show and tell segment as always answer some questions some of the viewer questions at the end of the show And if you have any questions during the show put those in the comments and we’ll be glad to get to them next week So our average frost date here in zone 8 is November 20th And we’re gonna hit it in the morning on the 16th So that’s gonna be pretty doggone close last year we was back out in January So there just goes to show you most of the time it’s pretty dadgum Correct every now and then you’ll get a little break there, but it’s going hit pretty close this year Do you think I didn’t think we were supposed to get quite close enough to a frost, 34 34 34 So that’s a good possibility for a frost there. Right Right. So a little early this year I’ve seen yeah Tom Matthews and some others on the Row by Row group talking about how they was a little cooler than normal this time of year As far as our show and tell goes Take a look at that right there. Ain’t that pretty and ambrosia corn now that didn’t quite fill out all the way to top there. We run out of hot weather run out of hot weather but ain’t nothing wrong with that now at the expo there we didn’t have as Much time to tend to that as we would in our personal garden so I did have a few ears out there with worms on them. But uh Ended up making some pretty lookin corn it was good too we actually fried some the other night it was the first time, fried some We cut it off with a knife cut it off put some water and flour in there with it and fried it in hog lard now that’s got to be good ain’t it and it was yeah get your cholesterol up a little bit too probably a lot of people Are only used to growing corn in the spring and they don’t realize you can grow it As long as you don’t flirt too much with that first frost date, you can grow it Yeah almost year-round lot of the commercial farmers Corn has become a huge sweet corns become a huge commodity around here in the last few years a lot of guys I know this year did some experiment with some late crops So yeah There’s a lot going on there we finding out we grow a lot Better and easier and more often than we we thought we could. That’s right I had some collards I was going to show but They wilted on me so I didn’t enough was little embarrassed to bring those to the stage. Yeah, but I tell you what those tiger collards We was talking to a seed rep the other day and we was talking about a guy at the expo told us about the Bulldog Variety and then they coming out with that top bunch 2, And The seed rep said he couldn’t tell much difference well they said they did a trial up in Tifton, Georgia where they had all three varieties side by side he said when they got ready They carried a couple of they’re big farmers up there So they couldn’t actually couldn’t tell any difference in them which is kind of amazing to me, but he said you could not tell any difference And I couldn’t be any more pleased with that tiger that Bulldogs expensive it’s expensive I imagine that top bunch 2 when it does become available it’s going to be pretty pricey So that tiger is the way to go if you ask me I saw where your cover crops are coming up. Yeah cover crops are coming up. I’m still having some issues getting my carrots up I was a little late planting my carrots. This cold spell come in here And I think it’s gonna drag them out a little bit on germination on there Although it’s been plenty wet But I did get my my radishes pop right up my english peas pop right up I should have been about two weeks ahead of the ahead of this cool weather on that I could have got them up like you did. I think your weed pressures one of your big enemies on your carrots too Yeah I do too So lots of good things going on in the garden if it will ever dry up We’ve got about two inches of rain last night. We gonna be planting onions as soon as we get them Yep, and doing several videos on that. We’re probably gonna do I’ll do videos showing you how I do it He can do a video showing you how he does it and both ways work. Great. Just give you a couple different options There. Alright. Let’s talk about our tool of the week here. What we got there, are digging tool So this thing right here, you’ll see it called several different names some people call it a Hori Hori knife Kind of I guess it’s got it’s origins in Japan as a gardening tool. I’m not 100% sure yeah, WW Manufacturing out of Pennsylvania makes this for us and They call it a you also see it called a leash digging tool, I don’t know where that comes from but it’s the USA made tool, a lot of times the Hori Hori are made over in China where it because that’s where the roots of that tool come from

Right this is USA made it’s high-carbon Heat-treated it’s serrated there where you can get in if you got some roots to cut into Serrated where you get some roots Then it’s got an edge on this side and it’s perfect for for planting onions shallots Leeks anything like that because you can dig you kind of a small hole there. It’s got a nylon nylon sheath there put on your belt so it’s a great tool we sell a lot of them we like them, yeah and So it works good for putting in transplants all sides you put in little onions you can put in big old 4-inch transplants with it and what I like as opposed to most of the Hori Hori knives you seen it’s got this little shield or gaurd on it but that gives you some leverage and You can sure enough dig in the ground ain’t got to worry about your hands slipping off there So that’s a you’re not gonna be in that that’s a high quality tool right there, we call it our digging tool Yeah, and if you got a lady friend in your life that like’s to work out in flowerbeds make a heck of a Christmas gift. That’s right Alright. So now let’s get into the main meat of the show this week where we’re gonna talk about cold tolerance, which is you know quite handy with this cold spell coming through here on the East Coast and Talk about which crops are more more cold tolerant than others before we get into that. Let’s talk about Things that make crops more cold tolerant than others relatively So when you you can’t just really search online and say well This what’s the actual temperature that this particular crop can survive because there’s a lot of variables that play there, wind Humidity a lot of stuff. Yeah and wind can be a major factor. That’s right Wind can play a big role. Another big role is whether that plant was precondition to some cold temperatures, you know, if it’s been Cold for a few weeks and then you get a little drop there That plants gonna be able to handle a lot better than if you got just 20 degree swing right And we’re by no means experts on this because we normally can grow most stuff year around in the wintertime and our friends up north Probably have a lot more experience with this We’re going to touch on it as much as we can and we’d love to have some feedback Telling you what some of your experiences is with some of these crops we’re going to talk about today. That’s right so Preconditioning are kind of having the the plants hardened off helps and when we go to plant stuff we grow in our greenhouse We always kind of like to leave it outside for a few days before we put it in the ground So it can get used to that cooler weather Another big thing is soil moisture. So Lot of people and would think that having the soil wet is just gonna make everything freeze more easily complete opposite, complete opposite So water has a what we call a high specific heat, which is kind of a property, ohh that’s a fancy word you just threw out there, high specific heat which means it takes more energy to freeze water than it does a lot of other chemical compounds that are Close to water on the periodic table, so you don’t want your plant strap stressed when a cold spell comes in And I learned that firsthand last year. I had some pretty beets up about that tall and Wasn’t wet and we got a little frost come in and beets are usually real cold tolerant It got them, yeah So if you keep your soil moist that’s going to help out a lot with that also If they’re in that very young stage when they first come up there they’re more You more apt to lose them there if they got a good, decent root system on them the plants are a little bit larger you seem to have better luck keeping them there too. Then then that stage when they first come up It’s tough for thim. It’s tough to keep them They’re real tender and and that can be a bad that’s the reason that you want to plant the stuff before your frost date and get it up and established before that cool weather comes in Yeah, when we talk about overwintering the whole main strategy behind overwintering Whether it be a cover crop or what we call a cash crop You got to get it up strong enough established So when that frost comes in it’s not gonna bother it too much, other things you can do We don’t do it down here. But in northern climates, I know it’s very valuable is mulching around stuff like carrots Row covers, Yeah, row covers, I haven’t used any row covers but I have contemplated using some a lot of the market farmers up north use them a lot and they have to yeah, they have to Alright, let’s talk about some of these crops We’re gonna start off with what we call the cool weather champs, and these are the ones that can can take it pretty harsh carrots, carrots now the The roots can take it a lot cooler than the tops can But I’ve never even last year when it got down to 17 or so a few days never saw any effect on my carrots

You actually want some cold on those carrots because that helps them be more sweeter. Give them a flavor. Give it some more flavor Yeah beets beets are another another cool weather champion beets can tolerate it Just don’t let your soil be dry like mine was last year, but beets do great in cool weather Another one that absolutely loves cool weather are Brussels sprouts you can’t grow them in a warm weather no they want it cold and and you better have plenty of patience when you grow Brussel sprouts now they I love them They’re very good. But man it takes them things forever, worse than carrots, worse than carrots. Yeah and then the the Heavyweight champ of the cool weather champs will be collards, collards are rising in popularity You know collards have such a bold and complex flavor. A lot of people are doing a lot of experimenting with how they how they fix them and present them to You know, to eat and they catching on some what it used to collards was something poor people eat and that’s what we eat a lot we coming up But nowadays it’s kind of a fancy thing to eat collards and collards have really caught on popularity in the last few years similar to Kale right well There’s a guy named Hugh Acheson He used to be on a show called Top Chef, which is pretty popular and he had a restaurant up in Athens Georgia when I was at school up there still does I’m guessing and then he he kind of Made a quote a couple years ago that said collards are the new Kale you know kale was the big thing for a while there and Collards have always been popular here in the south but they really taking on in the northern areas. There’s so much more things you can do with them By no means am I a chef or anything but kale to me I like kale on certain situations but collards you could do so much more with them But just like kale soup I prefer to have kale in that But if I’m frying or stewing or something like that, I got to where I like my collards and they’re some varieties of collards They say can take down to zero degrees. Yep Which is pretty pretty remarkable kales pretty tough But uh collards even tougher so if you live up north and wanna have some greens for the winter Collards is gonna be your way to go parsley Parsley, parsley is that plant used as a garnish on your plate most of the time you order fish and chips you get some, you cannot everything they always say that it’s edible, too And I’m sure it is but it’s most of the time just used as a garnish but it is very cold hearted. That’s right. That’s right You can put that in soups as well. And then we’ve got spinach Which is real cold hardy Yeah And you know spinach is something we’ve never grown much here in the south and I really don’t know why I love spinach as in the salad and you know having it Stewed down or fried down however I just love spinach, but we just don’t see nobody growing spinach in the south It’s one of those things that we just have not never grown here. It’s kind of a bugger to harvest. Yeah Cause it stays so low to the ground but it’s extremely cold hardy them folks up north. That’s one of there go to is spinach That’s right And then the last one of the cool weather champs, which we haven’t grown but we got some on the way are leeks Supposedly leeks are even more cold hardy than say something like onions or shallots they do really good So, well Holly Marsh put a picture of some parsnips on the Row by Row group the other day Yeah, they look like white carrots That’s something we’ve never grown before that’s the great thing about gardening is always something new out there to try They look real interesting to me and she said they have a little different flavor to them So that may be something we try in the future and it’s very cold hardy similar to carrots Alright so those are you cool weather champs, those are gonna, those are gonna be your most resilient thing You can grow and unless you got just snow covering the ground Most of you should be able to grow some some of those. Yep. You might have to use a little row cover mulch but Most people should be able to grow those let’s talk about these moderately frost tolerant ones we’re not going to focus on things that aren’t frost tolerant because assume that’s fairly common knowledge but this stuff that’s moderately frost tolerant are crops that Get a little frost kiss on them. It might burn the tips of them a little bit but it’s not going to kill them, right and Usually these can take temperatures in a range of about 25 to 32 degrees something like that gets much lower than that It might tear them up pretty good So the first one of those would be broccoli and cauliflower Which I have some getting close to getting ready now They can take it pretty good Except when they start making the heads if those heads the cauliflower heads or broccoli head get frost on them They’re done. They get all spongy. Yep So those are the situations where I might consider using some row cover If I knew I was getting a frost and those things we’re almost ready to harvest

I put something over to protect them a little bit Other ones we got Cabbage cabbage can almost go in that other category It can stand a lot of cold but gets down real real cold and stays there for a long period of time it will split the head, bust the head open but it’s pretty doggone cold-hearted You need to have it pretty much made by the time the cold gets in or you won’t get a lot of growth out of it in cold weather But it’s pretty cold hardy and then we’ve got lettuce Yep, which it’ll burn the lettuce a little bit. Yeah, but it’s still still plenty good to eat onions Onions are plenty cold hardy shallots as well Cilantro, which you’ve got some planted Which is a great addition to any kind of taco or something like that chard Which is in there kind of the same family as beets, man that chard is tough stuff We grew some at the expo it’s the most insect resistant green that I know of Yeah, for whatever reason they don’t nibble on it like they do the other stuff mustard greens mustard will get burnt back Mustard will get burnt back a little bit but they’re worth growing because they are so good. They’re so good and easy to grow up And then you got radishes that’ll get burnt back a little bit, turnips will too, yep but usually the roots on them are still pretty good after a good little frost, so hopefully that gives you an idea of Where your ranges are what you can try to pull off there If you if you ever have a chance to build you a high tunnel that’s a great investment where you can grow food year round don’t have to worry about the frost. Yep Where’s our koozie? We don’t have it. We’re not giving away a koozie, ohh we’re not giving away a koozie, we giving away a book We’re gonna give away This winter harvest handbook So when we answer your question, which we’re about to get to a couple send us an email to We’ll send you Eliot Coleman’s book here. It talks about growing food in the winter and colder months a nice little resource Yeah Eliot’s kind of a buddy of ours whenever we run into one another we like to have a good talk, catch up on things and he’s a great guy And he is a wealth of information especially on growing things in the wintertime That’s right, because he’s up there in Maine and he has to deal with it a good part of the year alright, so if you uh You know send us your questions and we’ll answer them next week the questions we’ve got this week the first one we got is from Anna Cooley and She’s already planted her onions says she planted some yellow granex or some Vidalia onions and the green growth was so tall And she was about to get frost and her neighbor told her that she ought to trim the tops off of them, them dadgum neighbors they cause a lot of problems She wanted to know if that was alright to do. Yeah, she planted them at the right time I think she was dead own on when to plant them Excuse me But I’ve never cut my tops back for that reason. Your tops have a lot of reasons for being there They store all the nutrients there. They do a lot of stuff, where the Photosynthesis takes place Why you want to cut them off if they do Come a hard hard freeze you get some burn you a lot better off Let them burn than you are to whack them off, you just gonna stress that plant, I can’t see where that would be worthwhile yeah, so Don’t always Listen to your neighbors. Yeah on the flip side to that I wouldn’t dig them up either leave them there they’ll be alright, let them come back They may be delayed a little bit but leave them there and let them come back and make the best out of it but learn your lesson Watch what them neighbors tell you. That’s right And then our last question is from Tim Jones and he wants knows is this also Was talking about planting onions this time of year Wants to know if it’s also the time of year to plant shallots Aka green onions AKA spring onions that are also good in soups, now I think there might be a little confusion here What we call green onions or spring onion. It’s just a smaller version of a regular onion, right Shallots is a little different ballgame, but very similar growth habit. They are in the onion family. They are in the onion family So you would treat them very similar to what you would an onion If you’re up north, I would treat them like it was garlic. We can’t hardly grow garlic here in the South I would treat them just like I would onions in the South if I got up more north I treat a little similar to garlic. That’s right. So you don’t have to grow shallots to have green onions No, you can pull your little small ones there in a couple months and have those for you soup so thank y’all for your questions and a Little teaser we have got a completely new product line coming I won’t tell you what it is But it’s something we haven’t carried before And we’ve got a whole new line of products that we’re about to carry But I want you all to try to guess what it is so put down in the comments what you think this new product line, we’re coming out with Yeah it’s something everybody can use. It’s something everybody can use something everybody needs if they’re gonna garden so take a few guesses of what that is and

will see if anybody gets it right and we’ll be glad to tell you what that is on next week’s show and we’ll see you then. Have a good one