Dear Readers,

I mulched the existing vegetable bed with fallen leaves in autumn to help smother weeds in spring.  I discovered that by doing so has actually saved some of the plants that were left in the ground over winter.

surprise harvest

My surprise harvest of carrots, parsnip and beets!

Relatively cold hardy vegetables such at beets (beetroot), carrots, parsnips and leeks can stay in the ground and covered with a thick layer of mulch to protect them from the frost and snow.  Some gardeners partially lift them out of the ground to loosen the soil to make harvest in mid-winter easier when the ground is frozen solid.

Other cold hardy vegetables include kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

With some planning you can sow roots in late summer for harvest throughout winter underneath the mulch or utilize polytunnels and green houses to extend the harvest and growing seasons.

Do you have any tips to extend the harvest throughout winter to close the hungry gap before spring?  We would love to hear them.