This winter has seen nothing but one wave after another of cold, ice, and snow, to the point that I haven’t been able to actually see the garden at all over the past couple months. That’s not entirely bad as the consistent snow cover provided insulation and will help protect over wintering plants from the bitter cold and biting winds.

The coming week’s weather forecasts and rising temperatures provide hope for the reappearance of both Spring and the garden. In the meantime I thought I’d post some pics from the fall season and the last time that I could actually enjoy the garden. But first up is a photo that sums up what the winter has been like here in Central Pennsylvania over the past few months.

Winter Garden

That picture shows just what the winter has been like, and most of us are ready for it to end and a new gardening season to begin! Until then let’s take a stroll through last fall’s vegetable garden.

Fall Vegetable Garden

October seems so long ago but here is a pic of the fall vegetable garden showing how lush and green things were as the fall growing season wound down. It would be a shame to stop gardening because summer had ended and miss out on all that the fall season has to offer!

Hot Peppers

It isn’t just the hardy plants that can take advantage of the fall months. Here are some pepper plants that continued to ripen their spicy fruits. I usually pot some of the plants to bring indoors before the first frosts arrive.

Ginger and Turmeric

You might not expect turmeric and ginger plants to grow well in the North even during the summer, but these plants haven’t seemed to notice the change in the seasons and kept right on growing even as the days turned colder and shorter.

Succession Planting

The tomato plants lasted longer than usual, so I just pruned the lower branches and planted leafy greens underneath the plants. Sweet potato vines were also rambling along the ground like it was still summertime.

Ethiopian Spinach

Okinawa Spinach was a new crop for me last year and it turned out to be my most productive leafy green vegetable as two plants covered a section of one bed that was about seven feet by four feet with mild and delicious greens lasting all summer and into the fall months.

Lovage and Rocket

Here is a picture of a Lovage plant and the Turkish Rocket perennial plants that grow alongside of it. A little of the strong flavored Lovage will go a long way in the kitchen and the Rocket returns each year to produce a ton of leafy greens with no maintenance.

Globe Artichokes

The Globe Artichokes struggled through the heat and drought of summer but recovered nicely as fall arrived. Whether they will survive the winter and live to see springtime is a different story altogether.

Broccoli and Cabbages

This is a bed of broccoli, cabbages, collard, and kale varieties growing in the shadow of a huge Lemon Grass plant. The Lemongrass was living on borrowed time and didn’t survive an early frost, but the hardy brassica plants kept growing deep into the fall season.

Blue Collards

I love this Ole Timey Blue Collard variety but the seed is difficult to locate and my own supply is growing low so this may become a project to save seed from this variety to ensure that it is around for planting in future seasons.

Collard Plants

Collards are great for their versatility and ability to grow through heat or cold weather. Here is another attractive collard strain. They will produce tasty greens from spring through fall and can over winter to yield into the following year.

Palm Kale

Palm Kale used to be one of those varieties that you had to grow yourself in order to enjoy it. These days I see it at markets and even on commercial grocery shelves, but there is still no comparison to what you can harvest fresh from your own backyard.

Colorful Kale

And to have something more unique you can grow this purple strain of Palm Kale that adds color and a slightly different texture and leaf shape from that of the dark green strain that has gone main stream.

Cold Frame

Now back to reality and the snow that still covers the garden. Here is a cold frame buried in the snow but containing hardy greens that will hopefully thaw out and begin growing any day now as the snow melts, temperatures rise, and Spring makes a welcomed reappearance!


Reishi mushroom

More Ideas for Cultivating Mushrooms in the Home and Garden

October 9, 2014

The fall season is a perfect time to explore the fascinating world of backyard mushroom cultivation. I’ll start by sharing some of the delicious edible fungi that is currently springing up right outside in and around my garden. Then I’ll share some info on mushrooms picked up at the recent Mother Earth News Fair, and […]

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Mother Earth News Fair

The Mother Earth News Fair Returns to Pennsylvania

October 1, 2014

The 2014 Mother Earth News Fair that took place in Seven Springs, PA a couple weekends ago was a great event and I walked away with many new ideas and techniques to try out in the garden and to share with you here on the Veggie Gardening Tips website! Normally the downside of a fall […]

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Herb Faire

A Weekend at the Herb and Garden Faire

May 13, 2014

The 27th Annual Herb & Garden Faire took place over the weekend at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The two day event included plant sales, gardening lectures, arts and crafts, music, delicious foods, and garden themed displays. What started out as a small plant has grown over the years into […]

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Taking Stock of the Garden’s Winter Losses

May 9, 2014

This past winter was harsher than what we’ve grown accustomed to, with colder temps, more snowfall, and longer periods of sustained freezes. Even after spring arrived we have continued to receive colder than normal lows and lingering threats of potential frost. I’m still assessing the damage left behind by winter, but so far it has […]

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Dehydrated Produce

Preserving the Harvest with a Food Dehydrator

March 20, 2014

Despite spring’s arrival today according to the calendar, it feels like the new growing season is a ways off, and the first hints of fresh produce are just now beginning to sprout up from the earth. But there is plenty of last season’s harvest preserved and ready for use thanks to the fresh veggies that were dried, stored, or even fermented before […]

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Garden Show Display

A Flurry of Gardening Events Precede Springtime

February 21, 2014

Our landscape is still white with a covering snowfall that seems to have been with us the entire winter, but there are a few gardening events on the calendar that will offer a taste of the greener days just ahead! My gardening activities for this year began in January with a trip to Amherst, MA […]

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Skunk Bean Seeds

Seed School Provides a Very Welcomed Winter Break

January 29, 2014

I first wrote about Native Seeds/SEARCH a couple years ago, ordered some unique vegetable seeds from them, and even dreamed about one day heading out west to visit their farm and attend a Seed School session there in Tucson, Arizona. Well the timing wasn’t convenient for this spring, but then I noticed the program was also scheduled to […]

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Shiitake Mushrooms

Raising Gourmet Mushrooms in the Backyard Garden

January 13, 2014

This entry is an update on growing techniques for raising edible gourmet mushrooms in the backyard garden. I’ve written previously about starting mushrooms outdoors on logs, indoors using mushroom kits, and have also posted a video showing how to inoculate a log with spawn, but today I have some new tips and information to share. I get frequent […]

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