Manage your harvest
Leaf crops give you a bigger, longer yield per plant if you harvest a few outer leaves at a time instead of removing the whole plant. However, if you see flower buds start to emerge from any leafy vegetable except Swiss chard, harvest the whole plant right away; the flowering process (called bolting) makes leaves bitter on everything except chard.
Among the root crops, beets and carrots can stay in the ground until you're ready to use them. Radishes should be harvested as soon as they're big enough for salads. If you're growing onions for the green tops, pull them as soon as they're ready; if you're growing onions for bulbs, leave them in the ground until next summer.
You can buy seedlings of many winter vegetables at nurseries and garden centers. But for the widest selection, check out nursery seed racks or order from seed companies. Some good companies include:
- Johnny's Selected Seeds (207/437-4301)
- Nichols Garden Nursery (541/928-9280)
- Shepherd's Garden Seeds (860/482-3638)
- Territorial Seed Company (541/942-9547)
- West Coast Seeds (604/482-8800)