It is the first crop to plant and to harvest in spring, it stays alive over the winter, and it needs no extra space in the garden.There are many clips of the planting, growing, and harvesting of overwintering spinach in cold climate.I have been growing overwintering spinach in cold climate for several years now and know it works.We actually discovered this method accidentally when one spring some of last year’s spinach started to grow new leaves.In early spring the spinach will start growing long before you can plant anything else.You will have early spinach to harvest. .

EXPERT TIP: Overwintering Spinach

Cold Tolerant Spinach varieties, such as ‘Giant Winter’ and ‘Tyee,’ overwinter best if the plants are 3 to 4 inches wide by the time night temperatures start to dip toward freezing.Many growers have success with spring-planted spinach, but there is no getting around the one-two punch of longer daylight hours and early hot weather.Spinach Varieties. .

Overwintering: Crops that can withstand the cold and how to help

It’s officially dark at 5pm and it’s time to clean up your garden for winter.You won't be reaping huge harvests over the winter, but once the day length increases to 10 hours a day in the early spring, these plants will start to grow again, often providing an abundant spring harvest well before spring planted crops have even been put in the ground.The good news is that it is easy to choose which crops to overwinter and there is very little work to do besides harvesting, protecting plants from frost and watching out for pest damage.There is nothing that bolsters your spirits on a cold, dark winter day like harvesting your own fresh salad or cooking greens, reminding you of the full, diverse harvests to come again in spring.Of this group, the most cold-hardy and reliable are Cabbage, Fava Beans, Kale, Mustard Greens and Spinach.Every year we successfully overwinter these crops in our Seattle gardens, without any sort of protection. .


With careful planning, these crops can replace others that are harvested during the summer, so the garden is made useful all year long.A big perk of overwintering crops is that they grow during seasons when pest pressure is low or altogether absent.Broccoli, sprouting – Start the seeds indoors under bright lights before the end of June.Red Spear is a classic purple sprouting broccoli that matures in March and April.Deadon and Danish Ballhead have amazing winter staying power, but need to be started in July for transplanting mid to late August.Overwintering garlic produces the largest bulbs, and if they’re carefully dried and cured, they will last to the following March.They don’t have a long storage life due to their high sugar content — but as caramelized onions, they cannot be surpassed.These will mature for light picking in the fall, and then the plants die back when the cold weather arrives. .

Recommended Crops & Varieties

Spinach is also easy to grow, making it a good first choice if you are new to winter growing.These spinach varieties can also be resown in winter for baby leaf production in early spring.They will grow quickly in spring and must be harvested before bolting.All varieties of kale can be grown in the winter, but curled-leaf varieties are a bit hardier, and make for bigger bunches more quickly — you will spend less time harvesting the kale and your bunches will look fuller.Seed kale in late July or early August for transplanting in September.Kale plants of varying size can be kept overwinter in low tunnels, for harvest in early spring.Greens for winter harvest should be planted from August through October for harvest from September through March.For example, mâche planted in late September in the tunnel here in Maine is typically ready to be harvested in January and does not bolt until early March, while claytonia becomes full and beautiful as it emerges from the Persephone period, with lovely little flowers.Young radicchio planted in the fall, unheated tunnel can likely overwinter with just a single layer of row cover.Cover plants with heavy-weight row cover when temperatures dip below freezing in the structure, but try to uncover when temperatures warm back up, to better expose the plants to sunlight and allow for air flow.Cilantro plants will grow very slowly through the depths of winter, but take off in late winter to early spring, with harvests possible from March through May.Overwintering Salanova® in unheated high tunnel.For winter growing, we recommend 'Five Star Greenhouse Lettuce Mix' for its downy mildew resistance as well as the capacity of the red varieties in the mix to hold their red color.During winter months, varieties in some mixes may have varying growth rates.All small, round radish varieties are good for winter growing, as are the long, slender French varieties 'd'Avignon' and 'Nelson.'.If grown under row cover, their tops will be protected.Carrots can also be successfully overwintered as young plants, to grow and reach harvest size in early spring.'Napoli' and 'Mokum' are among the best varieties to plant in fall for winter harvest.On repeat trialing, however, we have found that it will bolt in the spring if overwintered.Some varieties of fast-growing onions can be overwintered in low tunnels.Onions for overwintering should be sown in late August to early September, and transplanted out in late September to early October with the goal of having them reach the size of a pencil (about 4–5 leaves) before the hard freeze in November.Protection in tunnels or by row covers will further enhance their survival. .

How to Grow Winter Spinach

Much has changed since then, especially the use of low tunnels for cold-hardy crops, which makes growing winter spinach easier than ever.Spinach can have germination issues in any season, but in my experience germination is better in late summer than in spring, probably due to warmer soil temperatures.Spinach for growing through winter is best planted a little later, in September, so that the plants become established, bear one light harvest of baby greens in late fall, and then go into a state of semi-dormancy through the dark days of winter.Then, as soon as days become longer February and March, the plants will produce harvest after harvest of sweet, tender leaves until the plants bolt in late spring.Fertilize in Late Winter.I do not think it is possible to grow too much spinach. .

Grow in the Snow: A Beginner's Guide to Overwintering

Plant cool-weather crops in the early to mid-fall, let them establish a root system in October and November, lie dormant during the cold and dark months, and then emerge in the spring.You can overwinter crops including beets, carrots, kale, spinach, and scallions, as well as some less-known hardy winter greens like claytonia, mache, and sorrel.Claytonia is known as “miner’s lettuce” and is a sweet salad green that is one of the first overwintering crops to emerge in the spring.During the winter months, something amazing happens to root crops like beets, carrots, and turnips if you leave them in the ground.This will prevent the lid of the frame from breaking under the weight of snow and ice, and allow for the automatic vent to open should there be a particularly warm day. .

What it is overwintered spinach and what to do with it

What it is overwintered spinach and what to do with it.I like to think of very early spring, which I’ll tentatively say is what we’re in now, as saag paneer season.I love overwintered spinach because it’s one of the first green things to come back in the market, way before asparagus and #ramps. .

The Overwintered Garden — Red Wagon Plants

Overwintered crops generally are dormant all winter long and then come back to life with the lengthening days and warming temperatures of spring.Spinach for early spring eating (mid to late April) should be sown in the first two weeks of September.Once very cold weather hits, in early to mid-December, you can protect the spinach under a layer of straw, or leaves, or a few layers of thick row cover (Reemay or Agribon can be found at Gardeners’ Supply Company or ordered online at Johnny’s Selected Seeds).In the early spring, as soon as the ground has thawed out, remove the layers of protection and you will see the spinach slowly coming to life, long before any other plants begin to stir.In the fall, you can harvest a few of the larger parsnips to eat September through December, but be sure to elave a few for spring time meals.Pull off all of the mulch as soon as the ground thaws, and then in late April and early May, you can dig up huge, sweet roots that are a lovely addition to spring time soups, roasted vegetable dishes and purees.Leeks are another crop that is planted very early in spring - mid to late April is ideal.With whatever leeks are left in the ground come snow melt, pull off the mulch and wait to see what happens.So sweet in spring, and a great addition to soups, vegetable tarts, or braised meats.Exact planting and harvest dates are not easily determined because they are a function of weather, where you garden is sited, and micro climates.Observe each crops natural life cycle, and learn to work with it in the context of our long and cold winters. .

Plant spinach now for spring greens

Because spinach is a cool-season crop that does best when days are less than 14 hours long and temperatures don't exceed 80 degrees, overwintering your spinach crop will ensure an extra-early spring start.The last week of September into the first of October is the time to plant spinach for overwintering.Cold-tolerant spinach overwinters best if the plants are 2-4 inches wide by the time night temperatures start lingering around freezing.Spinach seed often has spotty germination rate when planted in late summer and fall due to warm, dry soil conditions.Next spring, once the days begin to lengthen and daytime temperatures consistently rise above freezing, remove a couple of inches of straw at a time over a period of a few weeks until all the straw has been removed.Happy gardening! .


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