There’s nothing more satisfying than a bountiful homegrown bounty of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, or zucchini. With bright colors and the unmistakable aroma of freshly harvested vegetables, a summer garden is the pinnacle of joy for the garden enthusiast!
As the weather cools and the holiday season approaches, the home gardener often leaves their vegetable planters fallow to be planted again in the spring. However, for those that are lucky to live in a location that does not receive extended periods of frost, a cool season garden can be just as productive, if not more productive, than a warm season garden.
While warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers can take months to mature, cool season crops often mature much faster allowing for consistent harvests on a weekly basis. The harvestable portion of many cool season crops is the plant’s vegetative growth (or leaves) while the portion of interest in many summer plants is the reproductive growth (or fruit). While days are shorter and your garden may receive less sun, growing leaves requires less energy (and time) than producing energy-intensive fruit. Some cool season vegetables include: Lacinato Kale, Broccolini, Cauliflower, Napa Cabbage, Spinach, Chard, Celery, and many more!
Reed Newman, CEO of Revival Roots, builds and maintains organic vegetable gardens for homeowners in Southern California. “For those living in California, a winter vegetable garden is a must for the home gardener” Newman says. Planting leafy greens allows for consistent harvests all season long. “While you won’t be getting a summer tomato, a large head of Napa cabbage or a basket of succulent spinach is just as satisfying”. Our clients, “love getting consistent harvests week after week”. Revival Roots was recently profiled in The Hollywood Reporter and focuses on providing their clients with the highest quality homegrown produce.
If you are new to planting a cool season garden, “seedlings are the best way to start” says Newman. Seedlings are plants that have already been growing for about a month and are ready to be transplanted into your garden. Not only do seedlings have a higher survivability rate than germinating seeds, seedlings also give you a headstart on the growing process so you can begin harvesting your bounty sooner. Revival Roots Nursery, an online plant nursery, ships organically-grown, high quality seedlings directly to your doorstep. With just a few clicks on their site, you can select the seasonal vegetables or herbs you would like to grow and they ship your plants in custom packaging to ensure safe arrival. Each plant only costs $4.99 and shipping is free for orders of 12 or more seedlings. Each box also comes with a QR code that links to detailed instructions for how to plant, maintain, and harvest your new crops. Unlike seedlings at big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes, Revival Roots Nursery thoughtfully cares for their seedlings ensuring their customers have a jump start to growing their own food.
So, are you still deciding on whether it is worth it to grow a cool season garden? Growing your own food is all about experimentation - seeing what works, adjusting your methods, and trying again. Not to mention, with the recently increased cost of food due to inflation, growing food at home year round is a great way to save money and supplement your weekly grocery budget. Having a vegetable garden is the single best way to eat healthier and consume the most nutritious food for you and your family. While you may not be showing off a photo of your homegrown heirloom tomatoes, your basket of cool season brassicas and colorful leafy greens are sure to be equally as impressive and gratifying!