Mark Cullen on harvesting autumn vegetables
Published Monday, November 5, 2012 8:42AM EST
It may surprise you -- as it did Jeff -- that many vegetables actually improve in flavour as the temperature drops.
Parsnips, leeks and carrots are remarkably frost-tolerant. Be sure to dig them up as you need them and don’t leave them in the ground until the hard frost of late season, when digging is just not possible.
Many seasoned gardeners layer straw about 50 cm. thick over their late-season crops to slow the entry of frost into the ground. Each time you want fresh vegetables from the ground you just pull the straw back and dig away!
If you need to dig your crop and store it, I recommend that you use pure, dry sand in a bushel basket. The key is to insulate the roots against the hard frost of winter and the cold, drying air. This will avoid the dehydration of your veggies when you want them the most. This is the key to great soups all winter long!