Don’t quit gardening every time it starts getting a little chilly. There are several vegetables that actually like it cool! Here’s is a list of winter vegetables to grow. Make your pick and get planting. Your veggie garden will thank you for the perfect selection of vegetables this season.
These nutrient-rich vegetables are an ideal pick for your winter garden. They grow best when temperatures are between 40°F to 70°F. What’s interesting is that while frost is bad for most vegetables, it’s the opposite for broccolis. A little frost enhances the sweetness and makes the head firm.
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Growing best in temperatures between 45°F to 75°F, Brussel sprout is another one of our favorites veggies to grow in winter. They can even tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F, but only for a day or two. If you plant them in the fall for an early winter harvest, let them see a frost or two before picking the sprouts. Some light frost will noticeably enhance the flavors.
Want some colors for your winter veggie garden? Go for carrots. Grow them during the cooler periods of the year; spring and fall are the best times to plant carrots. They’re even tolerant to a little frost. While most gardeners are only familiar with the classic orange varieties, you can grow several other colors. Imagine the excitement when you harvest purple, white, yellow, or crimson carrots!
Looking for some more vegetables to plant in winter? Like most leafy greens, kale likes to grow in cooler temperatures. It keeps the leaves fresh and sweet. There are a bunch of varieties of these hardy greens that you can grow this season. Curly kale is the most popular pick among most gardeners. Incorporate them in fresh salads, stir-fried and soups or make kale chips – they’re healthy and yummy in every form!
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Your list of winter vegetables to grow isn’t complete without leeks. They belong to the onion family but are much easier to grow than onions. Besides the low-maintenance growing, their versatile use makes them a star member of your veggie garden. They like temperatures in the range of 55°F to 75°F, with a bit of frost ideal for flavor enhancement, just like most other winter crops. Use them to season your soups, stews, and sauces and enjoy the fresh flavors.
Easily confused with carrots, parsnips is another one of the best vegetables to grow in winter. The root vegetable offers a unique nutty taste that works perfectly for soups and parsnip roasts. Quite similar to their cousin, carrot, the flavors of parsnips enhance with a little cold. These hardy vegetables can be planted as soon as the soil is workable. They’ll take a long growing season and can be harvested once they’ve been exposed to some frost.
Can you imagine harvesting beautiful, full-sized vegetables only 3 weeks after sowing the seeds? Radishes are fast-growing root vegetables that grow well in the cooler months and come to harvest in just about 3 to 4 weeks. While all varieties like it cool, some special types are exceptionally hardy to frost. Multiple plantings are possible during the spring and fall months for a continuous harvest.
When selecting veggies to grow in winter, don’t forget herbs! Chilly weather doesn’t mean your soups, stews and rice dishes should be bland. If you want to add a little color, flavor and aroma to your winter cuisine, don’t forget to grow parsley in your home veggie garden. Hardy to about 10°F, their cold tolerance is phenomenal. You can even grow them throughout the winter season if you live in a mild-winter region.
Like many other brassicas, cauliflower grows well in the cooler months. Spring and fall are the best seasons to grow cauliflowers, with temperatures consistently staying around 60°F. However, do keep in mind that too much heat or cold aren’t handled well by the crop.
Spinach is an excellent cool-season crop that you can start in the cooler days of autumn and spring. It can even grow in peak winters in the temperate regions. For the spring planting, sow the seeds as soon as the soil can be worked, 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. It’s a rich source of iron and vitamins that you can consume raw, in fresh salads, or cooked.
Cabbage comes in several different varieties to grow in your cool-season garden. There are plenty of ways to use it in the kitchen. From coleslaw and salads, to sauteed cabbage and grilled cabbage wedges, there are lots of ways to work with the vegetables.
Cabbage is typically planted indoors in spring, 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost, such that it comes to harvest before the summer heat. You can transplant outdoors once the seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall. Cabbage can be directly sown in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. In mild-winter regions, you can also start another crop in late summers to harvest in autumn or winter.
Garlic is one of the easiest vegetables to plant in your fall garden. You can choose between hardneck and softneck varieties, depending on your climate and preferences. Hardneck garlic is the prefered variety for growing in cooler regions. It offers a sharper flavor but has a shorter shelf life as compared to softneck garlic. Softneck varieties are preferred for regions with mild winters since they can grow without vernalization.
Garlic cloves are sown in the fall, about 4 to 6 weeks before the ground freezes over for the winters. Plant individual cloves 4” to 6” deep into the soil, 4” apart. Water the soil and cover it with mulch for proper overwintering. Remove the mulch in early spring before the plants start developing green growth. It’s typically harvested in late spring to mid summer, once the foliage dries and falls over.
Beetroot is a favorite fall vegetable for the numerous health benefits it offers and the small wait time involved in harvesting them. Since it can survive frost, unlike most other vegetables, it’s an excellent crop for northern gardeners. If you live in a warm climate, you may want to choose bolt-resistant varieties to harvest fresh beets without the risks of bolting when temperatures soar.
You can plant them in the garden as soon as the soil is workable in spring. Continue successive plantings until mid summers for a continuous harvest. In warmer climates, you can plant a second crop between early to late fall to harvest the roots in winters. Water the crop regularly and harvest once the roots reach the size of a golf ball. Leaving them in the ground beyond their ideal harvesting time turns them woody.
Lettuce is another easy-to-grow cool-weather crop, best grown in spring and fall. There are several varieties available, many of them maturing in as little as 30 days. You can even harvest them earlier and consume them as extra-nutritious microgreens. Lettuce is often consumed in salads, but you can also serve it sauteed, grilled and braised.
If grown in fall or spring, plant it in full sun. When grown in summers or in warm growing zones, planting it in partial shade is a better option. Sow the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep in loose, well-drained soil. Thin the seedlings to 4 inches apart in rows spaced 10 inches apart. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
If you were wondering what vegetables can I grow in winter before coming to this post, you’ll hopefully have found your answer by now. With so many flavorful additions to the list of winter vegetables to grow, what are you waiting for? Let’s get planting already!