Although winter can seem like an upsetting time of year for many vegetable growers, it doesn’t have to be. This is because some vegetables can survive and grow within these blistering cold temperatures. Although they may grow slower, they’ll still produce crops much earlier than your spring plantings. Not sure what can be grown during winter? See below 20 winter growing vegetables:
|1.Onion||6.Perpetual spinach||11.Spring onion||16.Garlic|
|5.Brussel sprouts||10.Parsnips||15.Winter squash||20.Broad beans|
As you’re able to see, there are plenty of delicious vegetables that you can grow during the winter months. So, before you decide to abandon your vegetable patch, you may want to think otherwise. Below, we go into detail about what you’re able to grow in a winter garden and also tips to ensure you have a successful winter venture.
What are winter growing vegetables?
Most vegetables you’re able to grow during the cold winter months are full hardy. For those who don’t know, full hardy vegetables are considered to have superb abilities to grow in adverse weather conditions. This classification is identified by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Vegetables gain this type of identity to ensure we gardeners can provide them with sufficient living conditions.
Although extra measures can be taken to guarantee a hard frost doesn’t completely wipe out your crops (find out more later in this post), most hardy vegetables can adapt and overcome this type of weather.
To find out more about what you’re able to grow, read below:
The crowned winner of winter-growing vegetables has to be onions. During this time of year, onions virtually look after themselves. Which for us gardeners, is perfect. After all, the less we have to venture outside in the cold, the better, right?
Onions have an extremely long growing season, and they won’t be ready until the following summer. Because of this, you need to plan your vegetable garden accordingly. There wouldn’t be a worse feeling knowing you’ve run out of room for your spring plantings.
All onions are ideal for winter growing. However, people prefer to opt-in for red onions during this season as they tend to see better results.
One of my favourite plantings is perpetual spinach. I adore this vegetable because it’s a “cut and come again” type of crop. This means, after harvesting, it’ll grow back them delicious leaves again and again. Because of this, it provides you with large volumes of this tasty crop.
If you sow these into your soil during early autumn, it’ll offer you leaves throughout the entire winter, spring, and most probably even into the summer. Because of this, I recommend that you try to grow perpetual spinach during the winter months.
This next vegetable is highly used in the kitchen. Because of this, it’s the perfect crop to grow as you can get significant usage out of it. If you sow broad beans into your soil during autumn, you can expect to harvest them about a month before your spring sowed vegetables. A suitable species of broad bean to plant is the Aquadulce Claudia. This species of bean is well-known to be a fast grower and can become rather established much quicker than any other bean type.
Another vegetable that is part of the onion family, the spring onion. If you haven’t noticed already, onions are considered full hardy, and they grow exceptionally well during the winter months. For onion lovers, this is ideal as you can grow all types of different onion species.
Spring onions are known to grow rather quickly. If you sow them during the autumn season, you can expect to harvest them in early spring. For those who aren’t sure, the best spring onions you can plant during autumn are white Lisbon’s. By far, these are the most popular and reliable options of spring onion to go for.
Another ingredient that is highly used in kitchens around the world is garlic. The great thing about this vegetable is that they’re like onions and are perfect for growing during the winter. Like onions, garlic shares the same characteristic as their slow growers. If you sow them into the ground in autumn, you can expect them to be ready for harvesting next summer.
In the garlic world, there are many different types of species. All can be grown similarly, but people tend to opt-in for the wight Cristo, as they’re able to offer fuller flavors and more creamy textures.
Depending on how big your vegetable garden is, you may want to consider growing some asparagus. I mentioned the size of your vegetable garden because asparagus takes several years to become fully established and ready for harvest.
However, what people like about growing this type of vegetable, is that it’ll provide you crops for many years to come. On average, each asparagus crown can produce up to 25 spears per year, and this will continue for a further 25 years. Due to this being such a long-living vegetable, people tend to designate an area for asparagus.
If you’re someone that likes to get ahead of the game, you should start planting peas during the autumn months. From doing this, they’ll become fully established before the spring and will be ready to harvest three to four weeks after.
If you were to plant peas during spring, you risk them not becoming established before the summer. In the event this occurs, It may take you another season before you’re able to harvest them successfully.
Although carrots cannot be grown outside during the winter months, I thought it would be best to talk about them as you should start developing them in winter. Fast maturing carrots like the Adelaide can be sown inside a greenhouse as early as November. Doing this gives them a significantly longer season, as they’re able to be planted outside as late as July.
Many winter salads can be grown during the winter. This is perfect for anyone that likes to incorporate salads into their meals. However, this oriental vegetable can be planted during the winter and can provide you with salad leaves throughout.
Pak choi is a very fast-growing vegetable, as it matures immensely fast. Apart from that, this winter salad is packed with valuable vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamin A. Due to pak choi being such a healthy green, many gardeners choose to grow this vegetable during the winter months.
Before we go any further, no respected winter garden isn’t complete without some kale. This type of vegetable is great to have in your arsenal, and something many people are unaware of is that the flavor of kale improves during autumn. Because of this, sowing them in the autumn is perfect for harvesting rich, flavourful kale all winter long.
Apart from tasting wonderful, kale is considered a super green due to its immense amount of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron, and a whole range of other vitamins found within it. So, why not apply this to your winter garden?
If you haven’t guessed it already, there are many hardy vegetables that contain leaves which can be grown during the wintertime. Commonly lettuce is known to be one of the best vegetables to grow during winter.
With the hardy varieties like winter density, it’s clear to understand. The name of this lettuce clearly indicates the easiness of growing in the cold months. If winter density isn’t something you’d like to grow, you may want to consider other lettuce species. Even then, you’re able to produce them by providing the vegetables with small cold frames or mini tunnels.
Another species of onion that you’re able to grow is scallions. These are commonly mistaken for green onions. However, they’re slightly distinct and offer a completely different taste. Scallions tend to be much smaller than green onions and never grow true bulbs.
The reason they’re usually mistaken for each other is because of their appearance. At first glance, they look identical. However, they do share some characteristics as they can grow at a fast rate in cold, harsh weather. Nevertheless, they’re a great vegetable to grow if you prefer scallions to green onions.
Mache has many names, including corn salad and lamb’s lettuce. Either way, it’s one of the top vegetables to grow during the winter. It’s a small vegetable and tends to only span around two to four inches in diameter. However, please don’t take the size of this vegetable away from the flavor it provides.
The great thing about this vegetable is that It’s rather diverse. In terms of cooking, it’s a salad leaf that can be applied to almost any meal, such as healthy salads, sandwiches, pasta, or even pizzas.
Something else you’ll be eager to plant is arugula, or also known as “rocket.” Arugula is similar to mache, and it’s a tremendous leafy salad to have around the house. This is because it’s known to have some great nutritional benefits. In fact, they’re the same as broccoli, kale, and even brussels sprouts. However, the taste is much different and something you’d certainly be able to recognize.
Because herbs are small, many gardeners grow them inside in their kitchens for easy access. But, they’re actually some winter-loving herbs you’re able to grow outside during these weather conditions.
The herbs you’ll want to grow outside during the winter are dill, chives, parsley, chervil, rosemary, thyme, and even mint. So, if you’re someone that grows these indoors during the winter, why not transport them outside to free up some room for other herbs?
If you want something simple to grow yet holds a ton of flavor, you need to be considering adding radishes to your vegetable patch. You’re able to sow these in autumn, and they can take as little as four weeks to become fully developed and ready to harvest.
This next vegetable will only grow if you have a cold shelter of some sort, but you’re certainly able to grow them during the colder months. If you purchase advanced seedlings, you can expect to have well-established cherry tomatoes in just a matter of weeks. This is ideal for up-and-coming events like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Something which many people will be surprised about is that Brussel sprouts are considered hardy plants. Because of this, you’re able to grow them during the winter months. However, experts say they can become damaged due to frost. To eliminate this issue, consider having some row covers at the ready in the event a hard frost occurs.
As summer ends, it’s time to start growing your parsnips. For best results, you’ll want to get your parsnips in the ground before the start of autumn. This is because they adore cold weather but hate complete frost. Doing this gives them time to grow in their ideal living conditions before the hard frost comes.
Squashes come in various shapes and sizes, but the winter squash is the preferred vegetable to start growing in autumn. By doing this, the winter squash would have developed enough to become harvestable during the springtime.
From the above, you should start to understand that you can grow an abundance of different vegetables during the winter months. So, before you leave your vegetable patch derelict, why not consider rejuvenating the soil and continue growing in the winter season? This way, you’re able to receive gardening pleasure all year, every year.
If you want tips on developing your winter garden, I suggest you read the below. Here we go into detail about how to correctly prepare your vegetable patch for the months ahead and how to perform the correct maintenance during this season.
What is a winter vegetable garden?
A winter garden isn’t anything spectacular or unique. It’s just your ordinary vegetable garden but during the winter. However, the only difference is that not many people are enthusiastic about winter gardening.
It’s evident that during this time, it’s cold, and not many people want to venture outside. Because of this, they also neglect their vegetable patches, as people think they’re unable to grow anything. But, as shown above, this is entirely incorrect.
If you want to develop your garden into something suitable for growing vegetables, I suggest you read the below tips.
Tips for preparing your winter vegetable garden
Growing vegetables during the winter is much different compared to the summer months. Typically, winter-loving vegetables require much less maintenance because they grow slower. Nonetheless, you’ll still need to prepare your ground appropriately to ensure they have suitable growing conditions.
Clear your summer crops
First things first, you need to start removing your summer crops. When doing this, be sure to add your green and brown plant materials to your compost pile, as this will offer great nutritional value. By clearing these crops, you’re ensuring that there are no hidden roots underneath the soil that can steal food from your winter crops. It’ll also guarantee that all summer pests and diseases are removed to allow for better living conditions for your vegetables.
Rejuvenate your soil
Typically, gardeners will start sowing their vegetables during spring and grow crops until the late summer. Because of this, their existing vegetables would have consumed all of the nutrients that are provided by the soil.
Planting winter vegetables in this soil isn’t ideal. First, you’ll need to rejuvenate it back into something that provides value to your crops. To achieve this, you’ll want to consider the following steps:
- First, you’ll want to turn your soil. You can either do this with a tiller or just an ordinary spade and some elbow grease. For the best results, you should turn around 12” deep of soil.
- After turning, you’re able to add some organic amendments to the planting beds. It would help if you tried to use the following – chicken manure, cow manure, seaweed, kelp, and either homemade or commercial compost. To add this, you should use a garden fork to mix the amendments into the plant beds you’ve already turned.
- Next, you’ll want to add blood meal, cottonseed meal, bone meal, or bagged organic vegetable food. Either one you use, be sure to follow the instructions for the best possible results.
Another tip for successfully growing winter vegetables in your garden is positioning. Here’s what you need to consider when you’re setting up the positioning of your crops:
- If you have garden beds, you’ll want to angle them towards the sun. Gardeners also slope the soil within the beds. This is to allow for more sunlight towards the back of them. For example, the sun-facing part of the beds will be 3-4 inches lower than the non-facing side.
- When planting tall crops, be sure to establish them towards the back of your gardening patch. This way, they’re not blocking other vegetables from precious winter sunlight.
- Remember, before finalizing your bed’s positioning, your vegetables will require sunlight the whole time during winter. If this isn’t possible, laying them near wooden fences, stone walls, or buildings is ideal because they absorb solar heat during the daytime and release it back into the garden at night.
Get row covers or cold frames ready
Most winter vegetables can survive the occasional hard frost. However, weeklong hard frosts could become problematic relatively fast. To avoid this, I recommend you get row covers or cold frames ready before heading into the season.
You don’t have to lay them down initially, but they’re handy just for extra safety precautions to allow your vegetables to stay warm.
Add a mulch cover
Another protection method you can opt-in for is applying mulch. This way, you’re able to keep a more stable temperature in the soil, retain moisture better, and provide your vegetables with nutritional benefits.
For mulch, you can use a wide range of organic materials such as grass cuttings, wood chips, straw, etc. Additionally, if you’re heading into a considerable heavy frost period for extra safety, I would use both mulch and row covers.
Something many people implement incorrectly is watering during the winter, and that’s because it’s rather tricky, to say the least. However, my biggest tip is never to water your vegetable leaves if sub-zero temperatures are meant to arise at night. Doing this can result in them receiving severe frost damage, which can be devastating.
If you’re not expecting sub-zero temperatures, you should water your crops during the hottest time of day. This is because they’re more active during this time and are more likely to receive extra benefits.
Remember, most winter-loving vegetables grow much slower because of their living conditions. So, be sure you don’t become too impatient and harvest them early. Allow enough time for them to develop to ensure they have grown fully.
If you can wait out the excitement and allow your vegetables to develop completely, you can then add them to your plate. After venturing out into the cold for several weeks or months, you’re now gifted some delicious vegetables, which you’re able to implement into some of your favorite dishes.
From the above, you can certainly start to develop a better understanding of how to prepare your vegetable garden for the winter months correctly. The preparation is undoubtedly similar to prepping your garden in spring for the summer months, but it just requires more frost safety measures.
After reading this blog, you should now understand what vegetables you’re able to grow during winter. As you can see, there are plenty of vegetables you can grow, and there’s certainly something that’ll bring joy to people’s faces at the dinner table.
Next time we head into winter, you should think about continuing your vegetable garden with the suggested crops above. You most definitely won’t be disappointed, and it’ll dramatically increase your growing season.