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Fresh Vegetables 30+ Days After the First Freeze

Are you able to eat fresh tomatoes, peppers, spring onions and lettuce 30 to 60 days (or more) after the first freeze of the season?

With a minimum amount of planning you should be able to.

Peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and spring onions. For lunch on Dec. 16, more than 30 days after our first freeze. Its snowing today, but I'm thinking spring.

Tomatoes

Next year when a frost or freeze is expected in your area, pick as many of your green tomatoes as you want and store them according to my instructions in the post,  How to Keep Tomatoes Through December for Eating Fresh.

You’ll loose a certain percentage as I explain in the post, but you’ll be amazed at the flavor of the ones that ripen. They rival a July vine ripened tomato!

If you have a cool ventilated place to store them you’ll do especially well and could easily be eating tomatoes for Christmas dinner.

Peppers

You can pick all your peppers before frost hits them and they will keep several weeks in the refrigerator. I store mine in the crisper box in an open plastic bag.  (Check periodically and remove any that may go bad.)

Lettuce

Plant lettuce at intervals from late summer to early fall.  (You may already have it reseeding in your garden by then.) When you expect the first freeze, cover your lettuce with cold frames. They don’t have to be fancy, as I explained in the  post, Lettuce –  Plant in the Fall – Harvest for 3 seasons.

Growth will not be as quick in the winter (because of low temperatures and low light), but you can treat yourself to enough for a salad every now and then.  A nice reminder of spring when snow is on the ground.

Spring Onions

Although I have mature onions to last me through December or January each year, nothing compares to the taste of spring onions. Some recipes call for spring onions, and nothing else will do.

Here’s my secret to insure having at least several dozen good sized spring onions on hand from early fall until next spring:

I use onions plants (called transplants) that are 8 to 10 weeks old to plant my crop of onions in late winter or early spring. Purposefully planting some too deep (2 inches or more), they will not mature. By fall, they are showing themselves as spring onions which I use selectively for special meals.  The ones that remain go through the winter snow and cold just fine.  I use all of them by late February or early March.

You might get similar results from onions sets if you plant in the fall. It would certainly be worth a try if you have the onions sets.

Final Words

Determine now to have these fresh vegetables next year for a month or more after a freeze.  You’ll get spoiled in a hurry.  I’ll promise you that!

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