Thursday, January 14, 2010

The accidental gardener

The LAST thing I ever thought I'd blog about in January was a crop I planted in June.

A couple of our summer crops turned out well, but neither my carrots (all leaf and practically no root) nor my broccoli gave us any eatin'. The broccoli nearly died and even when I put it into its box planter, it never thrived. By the end of the heat season, the leaves had dried up and crumbled away leaving skeletal stems just kind of sitting there in the dirt.

But they were technically alive, and I had nothing better to do with the planter for the winter than leave them in it. Didn't weed, didn't water. Pretty much paid no attention to the plants at all.

In the cooling of autumn, they began to leaf out and perk up again. Hoo-boy. Still, I thought the hard freeze would be their death knell.

I knew broccoli was a cruciferous veggie, making it a cousin to the ornamental cabbages that like cold temperatures and that people put in their gardens for the icy months. But I had no idea just how close the broccoli and cabbage cold tolerance kinship really was!

Here they are - photo taken today. Hale and hearty, after two solid weeks of nights in the 'teens and 'twenties fahrenheit. No flowers, but the leaves seem perfectly happy. Just wow!

(Hmmm... OK, this picture is enormous! I'm still learning the new computer's photo program.)


Steph said...

love that you have a garden philosophy similar to mine ("just leave it out there") -- good luck with all that broccoli

ronnie said...

I wish I could get broccoli to grow that well in the midst of summer!!!