We haven't yet had a flake of snow this winter. It's been coldish on some recent days, but we've had very few days with frosty mornings — yesterday was the rare exception. However, this morning it's 6ºC (at least 10ºF) warmer than it was yesterday morning at the same time.
The other day (Tuesday, Jan. 15), when I took these pictures of the vegetable garden, it was downright warm outside, considering we're in mid-January. It felt more like early April. Today, I thought I'd do a report on how my winter greens are growing.
First, let me say that the collard greens were a disaster again this year. Maybe I planted them too late (end of September). They were immediately attacked by pests that ate all the leaves. So no pictures of those — I wonder if I'll ever be able to harvest beautiful collard plants like the ones I harvested in February 2015. Today I'll focus on the kale instead.
By mid-October, the kale plants — called lacinato, dinosaur, or black Tuscan kale — had already grown pretty tall. Look at this post from back then. Pests, probably snails and slugs mostly, chewed all the leaves off the collard seedlings, but the kale was too tough for them. I had hoped for some cold weather to kill caterpillars and make the gastropods go into hibernation, but no luck with that.
The Swiss chard, also attacked by pests, hasn't fared very well either. But I'm optimistic that the plants will bounce back and grow tall and bushy as the days get longer. A year or two ago, I had some really beautiful chard plants in March and April.
One other green plant, while not one you can eat but you can enjoy cooking with, is bay laurel. I dug up a volunteer plant last summer and planted it in a pot. I meant to get it planted in the ground by November, but rainy weather prevented me from doing it. It's doing fine in its pot, which I set out on the tarps in the garden plot to help keep the tarps from blowing away. If we have a really hard freeze, I can always bring it into the greenhouse.