” All sorts of roots and herbs in gardens grow,
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, or what you’ll sow,
Onions, melons, cucumbers, radishes,
Skirrets, beets, coleworts, and fair cabbages.”
- 1654. Bradford, William. Verses.
- Massachusetts Historical Society. p. 61.
The sort of roots that are available on the first day of Spring…..
Turnips planted in September will grow throughout the winter. The usual freeze/thaw pattern of winter can heave them out of the ground. The warm weather we’ve had this winter has them already sprouting leaves, about a month ahead of typical. At this point they’re better for leaving, and waiting for the stalks and flowers and then seeds to plant more turnips.
Also going into the second year for seeds……
Leeks can be planted in August and September to winter through. Again, a few need to be left in the ground to for seed.
Baby onions – this is what happens when your onions go to seed and you don’t gather them all. These clumps are where onion seed heads fell. Now they can be divided out to fill a new bed with onions to harvest in mid-August.
Garlic – also planted to winter through. This garlic was planted the Monday after Thanksgiving. It is an heirloom variety that was donated from the Maine garden of a former pilgrim gardener. It also need to be ‘set out’, that is spread out so that the bulbs have room to really grow. Garlic is a footsoldier in the 17th century housewife’s kitchen to keep her hardworking family in good health. This patch really does look like little green soldiers at attention!