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Pretty, Winter Edibles to Grow |Molly Pikarsky |Central Texas Gardener

November 29, 2019

– When planting winter flowers, we often think
of the tried and true superstars like violas, pansies and ornamental kale. These are fantastic choices, but you can get
creative with some of the winter edibles and plant a knockout flower bed or container that
will endure all winter. I have had wonderful success with some spectacular
winter vegetable crops used in a more ornamental way. The wonderful thing is you can harvest many
of these, a little at a time, all winter long, so you get the double benefit of having something
beautiful and something to put on the table, too. Here are some of my favorites. Raspberry dressing rumex. This lovely plant stays low and compact. Its beautiful dark green leaves with showy
red veins will perform in the coldest central Texas weather. It’s great for containers or flower beds and
is easy to care for. It is a beautiful addition to salads or as
a garnish. Radicchio. This can be a real showstopper. It grows into an elegant plant with medium
to dark green leaves with shades of pink, red and burgundy throughout. I love it in containers or planted en masse
in a big flower bed. With radicchio, if you choose to harvest it,
you do need to remove the whole plant, so if you’re using it as an ornamental, too,
plan accordingly. Swiss chard, there are many types of chard. I love bright lights, which has a rainbow
of stem colors. This grows upright and tall and is so fantastic
in a container. It grows well with pansies or violas. You can harvest just a few stems at a time
so it keeps providing you with delicious greens all winter long. Red giant mustard is another one of my favorites. This tough plant gives your design height
and dramatic foliage color. It is a beautiful burgundy purple and chartreuse
green. As an added bonus, I have found it to be very
deer resistant, which is such a fantastic attribute for central Texas. You can harvest leaves a few at a time to
cook during the winter months and the plants will continue to put on new leaves and look
spectacular. All of these wonderful edibles can be incorporated
into your landscape with winter flowers, many of which are edible, too, like pansies, violas,
nistertium, and calendula. To keep your winter plants looking their best,
I recommend fertilizing them with a good organic fertilizer packed full of microbiology, like
beneficial bacteria and fungi, at the time of planting and about once a month afterwards. For more information, please check out my
blog. This has been Molly, your rebel horticulturist,
reminding you to know your rules well, so you know which ones to break.

1 Comment

  • Reply Tessa H November 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    My swiss chard looks like its half dead

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