The Raincatcher’s team has been busy putting in new gardens. Led by Leonard Nadalo and Beverly Allen a ridge and furrow garden was built in October with the purpose of growing food for the North Dallas Shared Ministries’ food pantry and demonstrating an alternative to raised bed gardening on our clay soil. It is aptly named The Donation Garden. One of our turf beds has also become a new veggie plot and is the home for turnips, beets, spinach and some struggling carrots.
If all this planting is making you crave cruciferous crops, don’t delay. It is a little late to start seeds outdoors but transplants are available at garden centers. Which brings me to an important discovery: mini broccolis (thanks Beverly!) We planted Broccoli Atlantis F1 by seed in our garden.
It is called a mini because it is harvested mainly from side shoots that are smaller than what you buy in your grocery store. When you harvest the center first, side shoots branch out and can be harvested all through the winter. Other mini broccolis, such as Artwork F1, are also available as transplants at local garden centers.
The vegetable team has plans for the future that include increasing the production capacity of The Donation Garden and finding a carrot variety that can get happy in Zone 8a.
Ann Lamb, Dallas County Master Gardener Class of 2005 with additional information by Beverly Allen, class of 2018
Photo of Broccoli Artwork F1 courtesy of All-America Selections
Note: We chose Atlantis F1 for it’s shorter days to maturity (33) when compared to standard broccoli (56 or greater).