Harvest Monday, November 23, 2015 – Overwintering Swiss Chard + Harvest

Decided to harvest all but the 2-3 center leaves from each of the 10 spring planted Peppermint Swiss Chard and leave the leggy plants in the ground to hopefully survive in the garden over the winter.

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

This will most likely be the last harvest for the year. Total harvest was slightly under 2 pounds.

Cut chard into bite-sized pieces, combined with a thinly sliced leek (leek was camera shy). Sauteed in garlic and fresh ginger infused oil until tender, S&P to taste. Tossed in grated lemon zest, dried cranberries, toasted slivered almonds and a squirt of fresh lemon juice to taste. Yummy!

The chard had a milder flavor and sweet taste after the frost.

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Leggy Peppermint Swiss Chard with 3 center leaves

As you can see from the above photo the plant (one of the 10) is very leggy. Throughout the year I have been harvesting the outer leaves reason for the  legginess.

The photo above and the photo below were taken 4 days apart, I think the chard grew during that time. Who knows, I may get another harvest after all. That’s parsley on the left.

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Mulched Peppermint Swiss Chard

A mild winter is predicted by some so decided to mulch the leggy plants (instead of pulling them as I have been doing previous years) with shredded leaves hoping they will survive the winter.

Swiss Chard is a biennial (will seed the second year). If my plants survive the winter I will have a jump start on the growing season when I harvest tender Swiss chard early in the spring. What a delicious treat for that time of year especially when not much is happening in the garden yet.

When the plants are about to go to seed I will pull them all to make space for other crops.

Do you overwinter crops? Please share your experience.

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Got another basket of Red Giant Mustard, the leaves have a darker maroon color due to the cold weather, so pretty.

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Red Giant Mustard

All the mustard in the basket are volunteers.

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Harvested all the snow peas growing in the foam ice chest mentioned in my November 9, 2015 post. Only 12 peas but still a good looking bunch and a treat for late November.

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Container Snow Peas

These are the last snow peas for the year until spring. Now that I have proven that it is possible to grow snow peas successfully in container I will be growing more next year.

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Container Bronze Mignonette Lettuce (left in photo below) continues to grow well and I am still harvesting outer leaves as needed. It sure is a hardy lettuce.

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Window Box Lettuces

The lettuce on the right (not sure of the variety) in the above photo started to bolt so I brought in the whole head.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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34 Responses to Harvest Monday, November 23, 2015 – Overwintering Swiss Chard + Harvest

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Another great harvest, Norma. The red mustard looks so gorgeous.

  2. The chard and the mustard are so colorful! And snow peas in November sounds like a real treat to me. I had seed and forgot to plant any this fall, maybe I will remember in spring! Happy Thanksgiving to you too Norma.

  3. Only 3 of my chard plants survived the Oct. freeze. I won’t overwinter them, the planting had a lot of cercospora leaf spot. I let one of the lettuce transplants from LG bolt and now there are a hundred baby lettuces. I’ll be watching for those next spring.

  4. annie says:

    You get very good use of your chard Norma:) I plant so many of them simply because we’ve got the space and it’s the easiest thing to grow here. Thus they don’t get harvested neatly either;P Chard normally survive our winter Zone 6, with temp dropping to -20C on short basis. We over winter Brassicas: Kale, Brussel Sprouts, cabbages, argula – without any covering. Lettuces are overwintered too. I like to cover them but last year I didn’t do it and it carried on… but they don’t grow much in the winter…just a head start comes spring:) Parsley, carrots, beets also overwinter without problem. Quite a few things to keep growing in the garden, the only problem is the gardener gets sluggish when its cold:(

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Annie,
      Wish I had the kind of space you have, Brassicas will not survive our winter, parsley, carrots and beets may be. Know what you mean by “the gardener gets sluggish when its cold”. I also do not like windy days either.

  5. Phuong says:

    2 pounds of Swiss chard is amazing and it looks like your mustard and lettuce are doing great in the cold.

    I’m pretty much just harvesting turnip and radish greens at this point, I definitely need to find other ways of cooking them.

  6. Michelle says:

    The mustard is truly lovely. Happy Thanksgiving to you Norma.

  7. Kristy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Norma! I hope you have a wonderful holiday. And here’s hoping we get that mild winter; although with the 6 inches of snow we got this week, I’m skeptical. 😉

  8. Boy, your chard dish sounds better than any I’ve had…really delicious combo! I overwinter most of my herbs. The flat leaf parsley, rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme all manage pretty well on their own in pots with some pine straw. Happy Thanksgiving, Norma!

  9. hotlyspiced says:

    Swiss chard is such a pretty colour. The snow peas look great. I do love the sound of the dish you cooked with the Swiss chard – very simple but tasty and it let’s the vegetable shine. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      The peppermint Swiss chard is very pretty, if it were not for the deer problem, I would interplant them among my annuals.
      I like simple dishes, especially when the produce is freshly harvested from my garden.

  10. Margaret says:

    The Swiss chard is so lovely – hopefully the forecasters are correct and you are able to get an early harvest in the spring. I wish mine had kept going but those dang aphids got to it this year. It seemed to be a bad year for aphids…hopefully next year is better.

    • Norma Chang says:

      I am optimistic about the mild winter weather forecast. Sorry about your aphids issues, always something isn’t it. Fortunately we gardeners are an optimistic bunch and always look forward to doing better the following year.

  11. Bill says:

    Beautiful chard. We overwinter as much as we can. The severity of the winter will determine who successful we are. We always overwinter kale, mustard greens, collards and spinach. Often our broccoli and cauliflower can survive deep into the winter. Tatsoi overwinters well here too. The last few years we’ve taken to overwintering our onions. Most winters we can eat fresh from the garden all year long.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bill,
      True the severity of the winter determines who survives and who does not in the garden, lovely that most winters you can eat fresh from your garden all year long.

  12. Ooo, love your swizz chard saute recipe – divine!
    Have a wonderful week Norma.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  13. Norma Chang says:

    Thanks Mandy, a wonderful week to you too.

  14. ChgoJohn says:

    I cannot believe that you harvested so much hard so late in the year, Norma. I’ve never over-wintered any vegetables. With our weather, I think it’s a losing proposition. I look forward to seeing how your plants do. Good luck!

  15. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Love the bright magenta stems of your chard, and your salad sounds magnificent Norma. Happy Thanksgiving! x

  16. Just look at those peppermint swiss chard, if honestly looks like a work of art to me Ms. Norma. And look at those window box lettuce, better than any of the lettuce I see in the grocery store that’s for sure. I hope you have a wonderful holiday Ms. Norma.

  17. Guess what Norma? My kitchen garden is almost as fabulous as yours. All your wonderful informative posts this year have been most helpful. Oh your snow peas look fabulous, ours plants are growing tall, but they just dont look healthy. Siggggh! Digging the sound of the Swiss chard dish too – super simple and totes great that the main ingredient isn’t lost in a plethora of other ‘stuff’. Happy Thanksgiving to you too. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      So sorry for the delay in replying to your comment, was sorta out of commission, back on my feet and starting the new year on a good note. Glad to learn about how well your kitchen garden is doing, looking forward to seeing photos of your garden especially since we are in winter mode.

  18. Amira says:

    What a great harvest!!! I like the snow peas so much.

  19. Eva Taylor says:

    Those camera shy leeks 😃!
    What a great crop Norma, the Swiss chard is beautiful with its fuchsia stems! Looks like you’ll have plenty of garden grown veg over the winter.

  20. Thinking about you and hope you’re having a lovely holiday season!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Thanks for thinking of me. So sorry for the delay in replying to your comment. I was sorta out of commission, am back on my feet and starting the New Year on a good note.

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