Mavis Butterfield’s October Garden Tour

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard, and all she found was KALE.

I am beginning to rethink the whole “Was it a good idea to plant Brussels sprouts ” idea.  I mean really, the plants are a total garden hog, and the Brussels Sprouts are taking forever to grow.  At this rate, we may be eating them on New Years Day for Pete’s sake!

The fall broccoli is looking pretty fierce.

And the rainbow Swiss chard… Ya, it’s still there.  It’s so freaking perky I’m beginning to think it’s taunting me.  I secretly want to step on it, but I know it will just come back to life and haunt me in my sleep.

Cauliflower.  Gag.

Kale. Double Gag.  If I don’t end up committed by the end of the year it will be a freakin’ miracle.

Red cabbage.  Whoppieeeeeeeeeeee!

Ahh, okay, so here’s something I like.  Rosemary.

Now I have a question.  Will my Rosemary plant stay green all winter, or should I go ahead and snip off all the leaves now and dry them out?  Who’s a rosemary expert?  I need your help.


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  1. Rebecca says

    My mom says that her rosemary stayed green all winter, but we live in NC, so I’m not sure how different the temps are there. Good luck!

  2. Amanda M. says

    I live in Olympia and have tired for 3 years now to get my rosemary to hold over through the winter. Every year it dies and I have to start over. My mom brings hers under the eves by the house in a pot and her plant in huge now. Maybe yours needs a little transplant!

  3. Erin Wilson says

    I so wish I lived closer… I would totally buy your chard and kale. You wouldn’t want to barter with me, I only have boring vegan stuff at my place lol. Pretty jealous that you can keep growing this stuff for such a long season. Frost has killed off pretty much everything here.

  4. Tali says

    I cut mine. Cut branches off, rinse, air dry, stick in ziplock and toss into freezer. I use it to make tea, and as spice for meat. The plant will come indoors (Idaho). I bet your greenhouse will be perfect.

  5. Tracie says

    Live in the same area as Tali…We leave ours out all winter and it growes back in the spring..However I am not sure if it stays green in the winter.

  6. Erin says

    I live in GA and I have two HUGE bushes (about 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide) of Rosemary. Stays green all winter long. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but we have had some good cold snaps (to include snow and ice) and it just keeps growing.

    • Lora says

      I live in north Georgia (zone 8/7) and have a huge, old rosemary plant. I’ve seen it used as a hedge many places around here – I’m surprised it isn’t even more commonly used as a hedge around here!
      Ours stays green all year- we can get some cold spells on occasion in the winter, but the ground never freezes hard, so that is probably a significant factor for it’s winter survival.
      I’ve had lots of success with making greenwood cuttings. Also, be aware that rosemary doesn’t sprout new growth very well from old wood, so if you cut it back, be gentle.
      If you aren’t sure about your winter, I bet it will like the greenhouse. My family in Wisconsin brings their potted rosemary inside every winter and it is very happy with the arrangement.

  7. Mimi says

    Up a bit past Seattle and mine has stayed green all winter. We are growing ours out as an ornamental bush so it’s a bit bigger than the one you have there. It will get huuuuge if you let it and then will be more likely to survive the winter too.

    On second thought you might want to transplant and put into the green house this year.

  8. Carol Ann says

    Rosemary originates from the mediterranian, frost is will kill them.

    I stuck my rosemary in a hole in the ground in my greenhouse last fall figuring it would have a 50-50 shot at making it though the (Maryland)winter.

    Lo and behold when I peeked in there in March it was looking better than it did when I first moved it, even though I hadn’t checked back to water it all winter.
    Go with the greenhouse.

  9. Carolyne Thrasher says

    Here’s a thought. Take a few cuttings and pot them up in your greenhouse. Leave the plant that is in ground through the winter and see what happens. I leave mine out all winter here in Salem, OR and pick off it all year long. I have 4 going because I use so much of it, the poor plants don’t have a chance to get really big. This spring I’m going to take cuttings from at least one and try to double my production. I’d also like to keep some dried because I really can’t stand going out in the rain sometimes.

  10. Lori says

    Brussel sprouts fresh off the stalk on thanksgiving day is the BOMB! Drizzle them with some lovely olive oil, fresh crushed garlic and some slivered almonds & maybe a little sea salt) and roast them in the oven and you will hear your family say “more please, these sprouts have transported me to heaven”

  11. Lori says

    Whoops, forgot to mention the rosemary to stay in line with the thread…I have no idea if they will stay green, but whatever you end up doing with them just add it to the Brussel sprouts too ; )

  12. Denise says

    I think my one little lonely rosemary plant died last year, but now I have several… I don’t know. Those California gardening books show such lovely rosemary hedges. So jealous. I think I might snip and dry some of mine and see how the rest does.

  13. Kristyn says

    Hi Mavis,
    If you don’t care for brussel sprouts then you aren’t cooking them correctly! Trim them, cut them in half and saute with a little butter, olive oil and salt. A-mazing. you can also eat the leaves if you cut the stem part off. Cook the same way. I’m telling you, even the kids will like it. I’ve got three small boys and they LOVE the sprouts and the leaves this way. Good luck and enjoy!

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