Cool-season vegetables vary in cold tolerance, with some able to take colder
temperatures than others. Semi-hardy crops can take a light frost but are
damaged by temperatures in the mid- to upper-20s. Examples include beets,
Chinese cabbage, collards, Irish potatoes, Bibb lettuce, mustard, radishes,
spinach, Swiss chard, and leaf lettuce. Covering these plants when cold
weather threatens can help extend the harvest season.
Plants termed “hardy” can take lower temperatures but are damaged when the
temperature drops to the low 20s. These include cabbage, broccoli,
cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, and kale.
Certain root crops can essentially be stored outside even after the leaves
have been damaged or killed by frost. Beets, carrots, potatoes and turnips
can be mulched and harvested as needed until the soil starts to freeze in
late November to December. Growing vegetables in Kansas can be a challenge,
but we have an extremely long gardening season. We can harvest from early
April )asparagus( to early December. Winter is a good time to plan and
prepare for next year’s crops.
By: Ward Upham