On this week’s episode, the guys talk about the most cold tolerant crops to grow in a vegetable garden. They begin by discussing factors that will increase cold tolerance. These include pre-conditioning and the amount of soil moisture present. If plants have been pre-conditioned to cooler temps, they will be more likely to survive than plants that experience a drastic drop in temperature. And because water has a high specific heat, it insulates soils and keeps them from freezing. They talk about the crops with the greatest cold tolerance which include carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, parsley, spinach and leeks. Travis mentions that even with temperatures in the teens last year, he saw no damage to his carrots. They discuss the fact that collards are probably the most cold tolerant crop of them all, as some varieties have been noted to be cold tolerant down to zero degrees Fahrenheit. The crops that have moderate frost tolerance include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, mustard, onions, shallots, radishes and turnips. These crops will not die from a light frost, but it may burn the tips of the leaves or foliage.
On the Show & Tell segment this week, they talk about sweet corn in late fall and collards. Travis has an ear of corn harvested from the demonstration garden at the Hoss Sustainable Living Center. He mentions that most people only grow corn in the spring/summer, but that it can be grown throughout most of the year when no threat of frost is present. They also discuss collard varieties and reference a conversation between a seed representative about a trial between Tiger, Bulldog and Top Bunch collard varieties.
On the Q&A segment, they answer questions about trimming onions and planting shallots. Greg explains that he can’t see any reason to trim the tops of onions for an upcoming frost. The tops are the location of photosynthesis which is critical to the plant. And even though they may burn a little in the frost, they’ll be okay. Travis mentions that shallots can also be planted at the same time as onions, but explains that green onions can be harvested as a smaller version of the Yellow Granex or Texas Legend onions they grow.