Since the summers are so hot and most winters are mild here in Texas, a winter garden can be a huge success.
My favorite plants to grow are lettuce, spinach, peas, and even herbs, like cilantro.
Since you don’t need pollinators for any of these plants, except for the peas, you can keep them covered with a netting, similar to tulle, to keep out pests, squirrels, and even the random dog or cat that likes to dig.
I did not have to worry about any pests and the leaves stayed gorgeous and very clean… although I did still wash them before eating.
When there was a frost expected, I would cover all the plants with a sheet and it protected the leaves.
For the first frost I mistakenly thought that because they were winter plants that the leaves could handle the cold. The next morning the leaves looked slightly burned around the edges where the frost had settled on top.
Lesson learned, and from then on, all the winter garden plants were grouped together and covered each night of expected frost. Even though I had to put the sheets on at night and take them off most days, it was worth it and the leaves are now fresh and healthy.
I invest in some garden hoops and was able to just drape the sheets over the hoops and clip them quickly.
Next year, in addition to spinach, lettuce, peas and cilantro, I think I will try ornamental cabbage and ornament Swiss chard!
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