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The Best Vegetables to Grow and Preserve for Winter


Best vegetables to grow and preserve for winterBy A. Page

You’re probably thinking, why start thinking about gardening when winter is just around the corner? Well, because you have plenty of time to decide what vegetables you want to grow and how you can preserve them for next winter.  Canning isn’t for everyone, but there are various vegetables that can help you and your family out during the next winter season. Whether you use them from pickling, relish, soups, or just want to freeze them for later use, these vegetables are sure to make the long run.

Spinach

Spinach has always had a reputation for being incredibly be good for you.  Its an early garden vegetable that comes packed with nutrients that keep you going.  Best of all, its easily preserved and frozen.  All you need to do is boil your spinach in salter water until it becomes tender.  After that, drain it and put it in freezer bags.  If you can seal it or can it, better yet.  Even if you just stick it in the freezer, spinach will keep for up to an entire year.

Cucumbers

Who doesn’t love a classic pickle?  You can make them sweet, sour, or both.  They’re a treat all year round for people everywhere.  If you’re planning to pickle some cucumbers, make sure you do so shortly after you pick them.  Cucumbers have a tendency to get mushy during temperature changes, and a little time sitting on the counter could ruin the process entirely.

Tomatoes

There are many methods for the storage of tomatoes.  You can plan when they’ll ripe, or can them.  Regardless of your method, tomatoes are a great staple for stew and pastas no matter what time of year it is.  You can even make some recipes before hand and freeze the finished product.

Green Beans

Beans are full of protein and easily stored.  Whether you freeze or can them, they will maintain the same great taste no matter how you store them.  Your first harvest will be plentiful, and production will slow down from there.  Keep that in mind when setting away your stock.

Carrots

Carrots are another one of those vegetables that grow and store easily. Can or freeze, carrots are a crop that will last you the entire winter.  You can cut them however you please, just keep in mind that the smaller they get, the more juice they will absorb and less time they’ll need to spend on the stove top.

Planning ahead now will make for a great harvest next year.  Sometimes the hardest part of gardening and preserving, is getting started.  Take the time while your trapped inside this winter to think about the coming season.

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Crops To Consider This Fall


crops to consider this fall

Cabbage field

By A. Page

After summer ends, most people start piling all of their tools in the garage and ripping out the dead or dying plants for the garden plot.  However, many people don’t realize there are plenty of crops that do well in autumn and even taste better with a frosted touch.  Some crops take more care than others, but there are a few that you can plant and essentially forget about.

 

 

Here are 5 crops to consider this fall

Garlic is one of those magical plants that can grow in just about any garden plot.  Head out to your local famer’s market and buy a few heads, or make a purchase from a trusted seed supplier.  Whatever you chose, stay away from the grocery store garlic.  This garlic is treated to prevent germination, and won’t do anything but rot in the ground.

Beats are the super food your grandma was always trying to feed you.  They make you big and strong, and can fend in your garden almost all year long.  They store nicely in the garden and can be planted as late as November.

Broccoli is arguable the easiest fall or winter vegetable.  Those who start planting in September can have crops ready for harvest by late December.  If not, you may be waiting until February to have anything worth pulling out of the ground.

Cabbage is an easy crop that takes a bit to be ready for harvest, but when it is you’ll have beautiful, full-heads of lettuce that will make great salads for months to come.  Though its difficult to wait, the 2-3 saturation period is well worth the wait.  Cabbage does much better in cooler temperatures, and won’t die when hit by frost.

Carrots are a great crop for the gardeners who lack patience.  Carrots can stored for a very long time, and are ready to be harvested when they reach a usable size.  That usable size is in the eye of the beholder.  Those who plant in September or October will have a bountiful late winter harvest.

These crops are a great addition to your existing garden, and will outlast your summer crops.  Of course there are many more options when it comes to fall gardening, but those outlined in this article are for the average gardener. If you’re feeling adventurous, look around for more exotic fall crops.  It’s important to make sure you’re checking the average yields.  Does it take 30 days or 4 months?  In addition to yield times, make sure your goal is attainable.  Some crops may do well during fall, but sometimes certain crops are categorized into fall crops by the area the specific gardener is growing.  If you take head to cover all your bases, you’ll be enjoying delicious homegrown vegetables throughout the winter.