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ATP's Top Cold Weather Crops List

By dave
January 4, 2014

Let's open this week with a look at a few of the most popular Cold Weather Crops from our Plant Database.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Jan 3, 2014 6:23 PM CST
and I learned a new veggie - Tatsoi - never heard of it. Thankful for Rita's comment as well. I'll have to give this a try!

Looking forward to this week! Hurray!

Thanks Dave Thumbs up
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jan 3, 2014 6:36 PM CST
Tatsoi is a great green. Very heat and cold tolerant. Tastes good raw or cooked. Looks pretty and is easy to grow. Can't beat all that. And I think we should all include more cold weather crops in our veggie gardens. Dave has definitely pointed us in the right direction here. Thumbs up
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 3, 2014 7:41 PM CST
I think that Bok Choy grows faster than tatsoi, but tatsoi can tolerate much more cold. Sow it 4-6 weeks before the last frost and successively after that. If summer catches them before they're full-sized, just harvest the baby leaves as delicacies.

One source claimed their variety of tatsoi was cold hardy down to 15ºF, but I never tried that test! Seventeen degrees below freezing!

I think that "Takuchoy" is Mandarin for "Tatsoi".

The only unusual varieties of tatsoi I've seen advertised were a red F1 tatsoi from Kitazawa (#446) and a Red Violet F1 Tatsoi F1 from Nichols (VAG595). It's as if tatsoi is considered fairly generic, compared to green stem Bok Choy and Chinese cabbage, where everyone competes with slightly different varieties and hybrids.

Kitazawa also has a red-violet F1 variety they say is a Tatsoi / Bok Choy hybrid.

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 3, 2014 8:08 PM CST
Even cold-hardier (colder-hardy?) than tatsoi is Holland Greens, or 'Tyfon'.

'Tyfon' is supposed to take cold down to 10 degrees F without a problem,, but I've never tested that either. Of course, the seedlings have to be established before the plants can take weather down to 22 DEGREES BELOW FREEZING. And yet it doesn't seem to mind warm weather as most Brassicas do.

You can direct-sow 'Tyfon' 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost, or 8-10 weeks before the first fall frost. Or any time as a catch crop when a few square feet would otherwise lie idle.

Once it emerges, you should cut it every 20-35 days (it will cut-and-come-again 2-3 times) because the leaves can get hairy and tough when too old.

This makes it like other Asian Brassica greens, but even more so: the small leaves are tender and mild enough for salad, but when older, they benefit from steaming, boiling or fast frying.

'Tyfon' is a stabilized hybrid of two Brassica rapa sub-species, Chinese cabbage and stubble turnips. It is an OP variety now and you can save seeds for future crops.

It was originally developed as a cover crop for forage, so they bred ANY mustard taste out of it so that cows' milk wouldn't taste like Asian mustards. As a result, the taste is so mild that Americans will accept young leaves in salad. When cooked, the greens take on the flavor of anything they are cooked with.

One virtue of 'Tyfon' is that it is ridiculously productive, especially if you harvest one plant three times. Someone said it was THE green to grow if you had to feed the whole Red Army from one row.

I'm thinking of using it in soup as "lots o' greens", and mixing in a little Broccolo Spigarello or old Bok Choy leaves to give it more flavor.

Direct sow 1/2" deep. Thin to 6".
Germinates in 5-10 days at 40-85 F.
Prefers loose, well-drained soil but is not fussy.

I found my 'Tyfon' seeds at Nichol's Garden Nursery (VGR472)
https://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/store/product-info.php?...

(Nichols also has a fancy Red Violet Tatsoi Hybrid
https://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/store/product-info.php?...


Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jan 3, 2014 8:14 PM CST
Rick, thanks. I had never heard of Holland Greens. Now I will have to look into it and maybe try some.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 3, 2014 8:20 PM CST
Broccolo Spigarello is another VERY cold hardy green. I don't know how cold it is willing to germinate, but once the seedlings are hardened off, they can take it down to 25 F (7 degrees below freezing).

I had a patch that overwintered without any cover or evident discomfort, and i thought it went below 20 that winter! Then it burst into bloom early in spring.


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It's called a "leaf broccoli" and the broccoli flavor is strong (but not bitter like rapini). The young leaves and thin tips are the edible parts. you can get some small, brocolli-like heads the spring after the main crop, but I never tasted those. I wanted the seeds!


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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 3, 2014 8:24 PM CST
>> never heard of Holland Greens.

I didn't find them in many places! I bet a lot of people are turned off by "stubble turnips" and "cover crop", but when I heard "very very mild", I thought I might like them better than some greens where the seed vendor said the mustard taste was not all THAT strong. I've learned that that means "yes it IS that string".

I missed planting much of anything last year, but I have high hopes for 'Tyfon' / Holland Greens this year.

Right now I'm far behind on sending things to people who are expecting them, but if you don't find them at your usual seed sources, remind me to send you some. I got the "one ounce for $4.35" back when it was only $3.95.


Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jan 3, 2014 9:32 PM CST
Love this information!
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jan 4, 2014 3:44 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

You sure could earn some acorns and help out a bunch of people by entering in this stuff in the database!! Whistling
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jan 4, 2014 5:51 PM CST
I 'd love to make comments but if I have never grown them, can't say much Confused
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Jan 4, 2014 9:36 PM CST
@Trish and @Dave -- I've certainly noticed an influx of comments to the database -- good incentive! Sometimes we gardeners need a bit of focus. I went through my Territorial Seed catalog and added comments of veggies I've grown over the years, which brought back sweet memories (I don't do a lot of veggie gardening anymore). Good way to populate the database - bravo!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 6, 2014 1:23 PM CST

Trish said:
>> You sure could earn some acorns and help out a bunch of people by entering in this stuff in the database!!

Yup! I agree

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea 'Spigariello')
Holland Greens (Brassica rapa 'Tyfon')
Brassicas (Brassica) (comment)

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