Last Updated on September 9, 2021 by cmoarz
If you know what to cultivate during the winter months, gardening may be a year-round pastime. Winter vegetables and season extenders are essential for producing a bumper winter harvest. There are various winter veggies that can endure frosts, lower temperatures, and even snowfall, no matter where you reside. You may cultivate vegetables all winter if you conduct some research and planning beforehand.
The following are some of the finest cool-season veggies: asparagus, spinach, peas, beets, garlic, onions, and carrots. The majority of winter foods will mature ahead of spring veggies.
With a wide variety of plants to pick from, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get started on your own garden right away. Discover how to extend the growing and harvesting season below:
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN GROWING VEGETABLES THIS WINTER?
Choose veggies with plant tags and seed packets that say “cold season” or “cool” in the description if you want to ensure that your plants are freezing-tolerant. These vegetables thrive when the temperature drops because they prefer cooler temperatures over warmer ones.
Winter crops must be protected to guarantee a good harvest. When it comes to producing veggies in the winter, there are numerous more factors to consider.
Winter gardening is more difficult in regions with cold weather. If you live in a place with a severe winter season, consider building a greenhouse, hoop house, or cold frame. A cold frame captures the sun’s warmth throughout the day, keeping your veggies safe from the harsh winter winds and chilly nighttime temperatures. A greenhouse is a structure that maintains an ice-free environment throughout the year, allowing you to cultivate produce all year long. Some warm-weather vegetables, such as beans and cucumber, may also be cultivated in a greenhouse.
In a colder climate, growing winter veggies might be more difficult. When vegetables wilt because of rapid temperature changes, they can decay either in the ground or above it, causing them to rot quickly. In order to level the contrast in air temperatures and soil temperatures, consider utilizing a row cover.
If you’re planning to harvest root crops in the dead of winter, be sure to shield the earth around your roots to prevent it from going too deep. To keep the frost away from the plants, line your gardening beds with a thick layer of leaves or straw.
You can sow seeds and seedlings for your winter garden between 6 and 8 weeks before the typical first frost date. To determine a precise planting date, check the average first frost date.
10 BEST WINTER VEGETABLES TO GROW
Winter gardening may appear to be a difficult job, but it is actually enjoyable and beneficial in terms of eating healthier foods. Choose the plants you’d like to cultivate in your winter garden below:
A perennial asparagus bed may be planted in the fall and overwintered for each winter. Choose a colorful variety of asparagus like ‘Pacific Purple’ or an autumn type like Asparagus ‘Mondeo.’
Every asparagus crown, on average, produces over 25 spears every year and can continue to grow for up to 25 years. Expect your first harvest of homegrown asparagus spears to take up to two years.
Summer and fall beets are delicious, but overwintered beets remain the candy of the vegetable garden. Beet seedlings thrive better in slightly cold, damp conditions, although they flourish in hot weather.
Beets are one of the hardiest root veggies, but they may not grow in regions with a lot of snow or other harsh weather conditions. Beet roots store sugars as the temperature drops during winter, making them very delicious when compared to other types of beets.
You may grow beets deeper than the plant tag or seed packet recommends. Mulch can keep this vegetable safe all winter, and you may get beet greens and little beets from it.
With their ability to withstand harsh winter conditions, Austrian peas are perfect for growing in the cold. These peas can be prevented from developing when temperatures drop below 0 to -10F (-17 to -23C). In the late fall, sow rounded types like Pea ‘Meteor’ and Pea ‘Kelvedon Wonder,’ which will allow you to harvest delicious peas a month before they’re normally available.
Baby carrots are best eaten in the summer, but you may still plant them before July 31 to enjoy them during the winter. You may get slightly softer baby carrots from January through February if you sow after August 31. Smaller carrot plants are more resilient to frost than larger ones.
Because carrot seeds are so tiny, it’s difficult to keep them evenly dispersed. Thinning is important here, but you may do it gradually by harvesting every winter. As a result, the remaining seedlings will have more room to develop in spring as a consequence of this technique.
Another option to plant carrots for the next season and avoid the seed hassle is to keep enough carrots from last season and replant them this season after they’ve had a chance to sit under a pile of mulch for the winter and come to seed.
To keep your carrots safe in the winter, make sure there is a thick layer of mulch around them. In extremely cold regions, a floating row cover or cloche might become twofold protection.
Kale may grow and flourish in the winter, even without protection, regardless of the weather. In the cold months, kale becomes considerably sweeter than it does in other seasons. If you treat them correctly, leaves may be harvested throughout the winter as well as early spring. When the weather warms up, kale will start to blossom. The leaves of kale might wither away during the winter while its root system remains alive.
How cool would it be to enjoy fresh radishes on Christmas for free? In a few weeks, these brilliant veggies can take their place at the dinner table. Sow radish seeds biweekly throughout the winter months for a continual harvest. If you want to grow radishes all winter without having to replant, plant an extra row or two in early September.
Winter radishes are crisp, mild, and less hot than their summer counterparts. In the fall, mulch your radishes with straw or leaves to safeguard them from frost. A floating row cover may also be used over the bed for extra shade.
Garlic is a low-maintenance crop that thrives in any climate and can produce several harvests during the winter. Garlic varieties have a long growth season and may start harvesting only in the summer. The Hardneck Garlic and Softneck Garili are ideal for producing garlic in severe winter conditions, although Softneck Garlic works well in milder climates.
Plant bulbs of garlic in late spring or early summer, when the soil is around 50°F. Garlic grows best in a rich, well-drained soil with a little compost. Garlic is frost hardy and thrives under 2 to 3 inches of mulch shading it.
Spinach does not grow as quickly in the winter as it does in the summer, but it always rebounds in the spring. You can plant spinach in open garden beds or cold frames (FPV) from mid-to-late September until late January or early February. Cover the beds with polyethylene tunnel covers during the winter to keep them protected.
Garlic cultivars to be planted in 2021 and beyond include ‘Winter Bloomsdale,’ ‘Melody,’ ‘Tyee,’ and ‘Giant Winter.’ In abundance, perpetual spinach leaves are delicious. Spring-summer spinach may grow up to four inches long when grown correctly.
9. BROAD BEANS
Fava beans, sometimes known as broad beans, are a wonderful crop to cultivate in the fall. It can grow in temperatures as low as 40°F and endure frost. In the fall, sow Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia,’ which grows fast and is excellent for plantings.
Beans that are grown for the table are called broad beans. They prefer well-drained, loose soil with plenty of sunshine and can survive in a wide range of conditions. Overwatering broad beans will harm them. Broad beans take roughly 85 days to mature and may be harvested before the pods become hard.
Winter cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage, is one of the most popular kinds of cabbage. It is frost-tolerant and simple to cultivate at home. Winter Cabbage will not survive a hard freeze, however. If you’re growing cabbage from seeds, 40°F is the optimal temperature for germination. It’s best not to overfertilize it; winter cabbages require less water than summer cabbages. You’ll be able to pick your vegetable in early January in some regions. When temperatures drop dramatically, your cabbage may split open.
HOW TO START A WINTER VEGETABLE GARDEN IN 2021
You may begin your winter vegetable garden planting at any time once you’ve decided on what to cultivate in it. Here are some essential steps to take:
1. START SEEDS IN TRAYS BEFORE ADDING THEM TO THE GARDEN
Timing is critical in gardening. Plant the seeds in trays to expedite growth. Once your vegetable garden has an empty spot, transplant a robust seedling into it.
2. CONSIDER USING A RAISED GARDEN BED IN WINTER AS ITS EASIER TO INSULATE FROM EXTREME COLD
For the northern United States, add some mulch to each bed. Mulch insulates plants from chilly soil and keeps them healthy. It protects your vegetables from frost by slowing down their growth rate. Raised beds are perfect for chilly regions since they allow for excellent drainage while also maintaining soil levels higher than wet ground. Furthermore, raised beds can heat up quicker, keeping your veggies safe from freezing.
3. PLANT IN A SHELTERED AREA AWAY FROM HARSH WINTER WIND CHILL FACTORS
Seeds thrive in soil that is dark, rich, and well-drained. If you attempt to produce outside in the wintertime, the chances of failure are considerably higher than if you attempt to do so during the summer. Keeping your veggies safe from snow, wind, and frost by planting them beneath a tree cover or utilizing row covers or polytunnels.A cover crop may also be used on your dormant beds. A cover crop helps to replenish the soil’s nutrients while also preventing erosion and growth. Select a cover crop over leaving the soil totally barren until early spring when cultivating a bed for harvesting.
4. DETERMINE YOUR PLANTING DATE FOR YOUR GEO LOCATION OR REGION
Your winter garden, like your fall garden, is a continuation of your current season’s effort and should be begun as soon as possible in the fall. Planting seedlings and seeds for a winter garden 6 to 8 weeks before the typical first frost date in your area is recommended. To figure out when you’ll plant, consult the average dates for the region where you reside.
WINTER VEGETABLE GARDEN FAQS
DO VEGGIES GROW SLOW IN WINTER?
Sap flow in plants is limited owing to the cold soil. Winter crops are delayed due to a lack of nutrients and moisture in the roots.
WHY WON’T VEGGIES GROW IN THE WINTER?
Because of the darkness, plants can’t utilize much sunlight. Furthermore, owing to the ground being frozen, plants aren’t able to collect enough water to survive through the winter months.
WHERE CAN I BUY WINTER CROPS?
Most garden supply stores and online retailers sell seeds for winter gardening. In many cases, you can purchase vegetable seedlings as well as seeds.
WILL VEGGIES GROW IN THE FREEZING TEMPERATURES?
Yes, vegetables will grow in cold temperatures. However, while some plants are better at withstanding the freezing temperatures, others are vulnerable to it. Assessing each vegetable’s ability to endure harsh weather is key. For example, cabbage is frost-tolerant whereas winter cabbages favor moderate climates more so than hard freezes.
CAN YOU GROW VEGETABLES IN THE WINTER IN A GREENHOUSE?
During the winter, a greenhouse may be used to grow a variety of veggies. Although these crops don’t develop as quickly in the winter as they would during the summer, with some shelter and attention, they will thrive.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU WATER YOUR GARDEN IN WINTER?
The plants will grow into lush greenery if they are watered at least three times a week. Water seedlings twice a day if you’re growing them.
CAN FROST AFFECT GROWING VEGETABLES IN WINTER?
Vegetables in the winter season, with the exception of melons, are generally sweeter due to the addition of frost. However, even winter vegetable seeds need some water to germinate. Winter vegetables require protection from harsh weather and freezing temperatures.
HOW MUCH SUN DOES A WINTER GARDEN NEED?
In the winter garden, you’ll require at least 6 hours of direct sunshine each day. The sun shines and warms the soil as it sets, allowing plants to take advantage of its warmth. There must be an appropriate balance between moisture drainage and retention in order for your plants to grow efficiently in a certain environment.
IS IT OK TO PLANT VEGETABLES IN THE WINTER?
During the winter, you can plant transplants of vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers. With a little sun and warmth, they’ll thrive. However, protecting them from harsh weather conditions is crucial to their growth.
WHAT CAN YOU GROW IN A GREENHOUSE IN THE WINTER?
Winter gardens are just as beneficial as greenhouses in that they provide shelter for your plants during the cold months of December and January. Most herbs will grow well in a greenhouse during this time and some varieties of vegetables will flourish as well. Kale and spinach produce fewer leaves if it’s too cold but cabbage — including spring cabbages — tolerate colder temperatures quite well.
WHEN IS IT TOO COLD TO GROW VEGETABLES IN A GREENHOUSE?
In a greenhouse that is not frosts-resistant or warm enough, the plants will begin dying once it gets too cold. Remember that even though the temperature outside your greenhouse is above freezing, it may be colder inside. If you’re growing tropical fruits in a greenhouse during this time, chances are they won’t bear much fruit because of the lack of warmth and sunlight.
ARE THERE ANY FRUITS THAT CAN GROW IN WINTER?
A winter garden can still provide a variety of fruits for your family to enjoy. Strawberries, apriums, pomegranates and grapefruit are all crops that will grow in the winter with just enough warmth.
WHAT HERBS CAN YOU GROW IN THE WINTER?
Herbs are versatile plants that can grow in winter. Basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano are just some of the types of herbs you can grow during the winter months.
Winter vegetable growing begins with a basic grasp of winter harvesting. Winter vegetable gardening is always better to start with only a few crops to see what works in your area’s climate. Inquire about local options; I’m sure they’ll have the finest choices for you. The following winter veggies thrive across the world. There’s no need to be as vigilant over them as you would during other seasons. Experiment with winter gardening and eat a bowl of fresh salad in the middle of winter.