Do you love growing vegetables in the spring and summer? If so, you'll be pleased to know that you can continue to enjoy growing vegetables through the winter. There are some vegetables that actually love the cold weather, making them flavorful, hardy candidates for a winter garden. Today, I have some suggestions for creating your own winter garden.
- Kale: Plant kale seeds in your garden in mid-summer and you'll be able to enjoy it in the cold months. Kale is an excellent vegetable for your winter garden because cold temperatures improve its taste. Olympic Red kale is well-known for its tolerance to frost. Put low tunnels over your kale to protect it from the extremely cold and snowy conditions of winter.
- Lettuce: Lettuce should be planted in your garden in late fall. Lettuce is a cold-hardy vegetable that can be grown year-round. It's especially flavorful in the wintertime, too. Drape a frost cloth over your lettuce to protect it from cold winds and frost.
- Carrots: It's best to plant your carrot seeds in mid-summer. Carrots are great for a winter garden because enduring several autumn frosts gives them a sweet flavor. In November, put a layer of shredded leaves over your carrots to give them protection from harsh weather.
- Spinach: Spinach should be planted in mid-autumn. Wintertime spinach is particularly flavorful and has deep green leaves. A cold frame can serve as solid protection from freezing and other extreme weather conditions. If you don't want to build a cold frame, you can buy them at home and garden stores, too. Many of them are made of lightweight materials, which makes it easy to move your cold frames into your shed with the arrival of spring.
- Arugula: The seeds for arugula should be planted in the autumn. This vegetable can withstand frost, making it a good candidate for your winter garden. It's best to grow arugula in a cold frame to protect these plants from extremely harsh winter weather. On dry days when the temperature goes above 32 degrees, prop the lid of your cold frame to allow the air to circulate a bit. After a few hours, close the lid.
- Brussels Sprouts: Plant your Brussels sprouts in early fall. For the best results, use a cold frame to protect your veggies from the harsh elements. These cold-hardy vegetables can endure low temperatures and mild freezes but won't survive a pileup of snow.
Vegetables to Start in Winter and Transplant in Spring
Maybe you like the idea of growing vegetables indoors instead, so you'll have seedlings to put into your spring garden. If so, you can start a container garden full of tomatoes, okra, eggplant, and corn. Each of these are great to start inside and can be transplanted outdoors after the last frost of spring.
With these tips, you should be able to continue your gardening pursuits straight through the winter. You can even plan ahead for next year's cold season! Just think of how wonderful it will be to grow your own supply of delicious veggies while it's cold outside. Thanks for reading. - Alan