There are a number of great veggies that you can grow throughout the winter months. Cold hardy greens like escarole
are a good pick for the winter garden. Carrots and other root crops also work well. Make sure to talk to your local extension agent for a list of vegetables that will work in your winter garden.
What is feasible to grow can vary widely on where you live. For example, wet and cooler states like Washington may be challenging places to grow vegetables as the wet conditions tend to attract pests and diseases to your plants. Residents of north central states like the Dakotas may be limited to growing vegetables in temperature controlled greenhouses because of the extreme cold.
If you do get a lot of rain in the winter, raised beds are a perfect way to control the soil moisture level. Soils dry out quicker in raised beds and containers. Additionally, diseases and pests are easier to treat. You can always cover your raised beds during the coldest days of the year to protect your plants.
Vegetables For Winter Gardening
- Various kinds of winter squashes and pumpkins are ideal to plant later in the season and harvest during the late fall and winter. You can harvest your pumpkins and winter squash in late fall or early winter, store them, and enjoy cooking with them well into winter.
- Some hot chile peppers are also a good pick for a fall harvest. See this website from the Chile Pepper Institute for tips on growing chiles in the home garden.
- Rhubarb is a great plant to start growing late in the season. In some parts of the country, you can grow rhubarb as late as October and November. Rhubarb is a perennial plant that grows for many years. The University of Illinois has a good site about growing rhubarb in the home garden.
- If you live in states like California or Florida, you can grow a wider variety of vegetables well into the winter. Try out greens like kale and chard, lettuce, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, beets, leeks, or carrots.
Depending on the climate of your specific region, you can plant most of these vegetables well into the fall months. However, in some cases it’s best to plant a little earlier to avoid problems with low levels of light and plant pests and diseases.
- Vegetables that mature quickly like turnips are okay to plant in the fall. Arugula and spinach are also great greens to plant in cooler months for an early winter harvest. The soil still needs to be above 40 degree F for the seeds to germinate so make sure to test the soil before you plant.
- Artichokes are an interesting crop to grow and you can plant them in late fall. Plant artichokes from root stock and you should be able to harvest by early spring.
- Sweet peas and fava beans are good to plant in late fall, roughly before Thanksgiving, for an early spring harvest. You can also plant peas in late winter and early spring in many parts of the country.
- Onions and other bulb vegetables such as garlic are a good choice for late summer and early fall planting. The size of an onion depends a lot on how much sunlight it gets. Green onions that don’t need to develop bulbs are a good pick to plant all year long as long as the temperatures don’t reach freezing.
- Leeks are a great veggie to grow in cooler weather. You can plant them in the summer for a fall ohttp://www.home-gardening-tips.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpr winter harvest. You can also plant them in the fall or winter and harvest the tender leeks in the spring. Leeks planted in the winter will generally not get as big as leeks planted during the summer.
- Garlic, onions, leeks, etc. require well draining soil with plenty of organic material mixed in, so try out making your own compost and adding it to the soil before you plant these bulb vegetables.
If you grow herbs in your garden, you can move many of them indoors and enjoy them throughout the winter. This is especially easy to do if you grow them in containers. Perennial herbs like lavender and rosemary are excellent to grow in the winter garden outdoors. They will both survive frost and rosemary is considered an evergreen shrub.
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