Winter's more than just bed time for your garden. Plenty of delicious, healthy vegetables will grow happily during the colder months, either in protected gardens, indoor containers, or underground.
One of the best foods to season dishes with to add extra flavor can be grown and harvested throughout the winter. Set out nursery purchased garlic bulbs that are separated but unpeeled four inches apart in your garden. However, don’t water the bulbs until the shoots poke up. One of the great things about growing garlic is that it takes up minimal room and needs minimal care.
Varieties of radish seeds such as Fresh Breakfast, White Icicle, and Pink Beauties are the perfect vegetable to plant and harvest in the winter. These will grow easily and quickly and some are ready for picking in as little as a month after seeding.
Carrots are a great plant to harvest in the winter, and those that grow during this season are typically delicious and extra sweet. They’re also great to have on hand for stews and soups, making them the perfect crop to plant. Sow the seed for winter carrots in mid-summer and deep mulch the bed in November with shredded leaves from your yard. The best varieties of carrots for winter are Napoli, Mokum, and Bolero.
4. Perpetual Spinach
Another great winter vegetable to plant and harvest is spinach. This crop will produce many leaves again and again. Harvest them in autumn and more leaves will grow back in the winter and the same process will continue into the following summer. Make sure to remove flowers from this plant to prevent it from running to seed.
Start early on peas for yours to be ready a solid month before anyone else’s in the season. Sow these in autumn and grow them all winter and they’ll be ready early in the spring. Kelvedon Wonder and Pea Meteor are some of the best to grow during this time.
This vegetable adds an abundance of flavor to any dish and can be easily grown in the winter time. The variety Evergreen Hardy White is the best for winter growing. It should be sowed around September and harvesting should start in mid-November.
Another flavorful veggie to grow in the winter is onions. These do the best in rich soil and prosper with regular watering. You’ll likely have the most success growing these with bulbs rather than seeds that are planted in January and February.
While this crop takes up a bit of room, it’s a great one to grow in the winter if you’re able. Asparagus Mondeo or Pacific Purple grow best in the cold weather months. While they do take a few seasons to establish, each crown that takes root can produce up to 25 spears per year for up to 25 years, which makes it a plant worth the investment. Keep in mind that it’ll likely take about two years for these to begin blooming.
Two different types of arugulas that prosper in the winter exist - wild and garden. Garden varieties such as astro are quick growing while wild arugula grows more slowly but it’s more tolerant of the cold weather. Wild arugula also is more flavorful. Starting in September, seed this plant every few weeks and you’re sure to have a non-stop supply of it all winter long. One great thing about arugula is that it can be harvested as a baby crop or you can wait and harvest it once it’s full-sized.
Lettuce loves fertile soil and regular watering, similar to onions. Varieties like heirloom and redleaf are perfect choices for the winter months. Sow these seeds in January or February and soon you’ll have delicious lettuce to enjoy all winter.
There are many different types of vegetables that can persevere and even thrive in the cold weather, providing you and your family with fresh veggies and allowing you fewer trips to your local grocery store.