Vegetables You Can Still Grow in Cold Weather

leafy lettuce growing in the frost

Just because it’s getting cooler out and the sun is setting earlier doesn’t mean you can’t produce bountiful crops in your garden. Many vegetables you can easily grow yourself will flourish in cold weather.

Lettuce

lettuce growing in the cold under plastic ground cover

Lettuce is a useful and versatile vegetable that can be grown during the fall. Plant it four to eight weeks before the first first as it grows best in temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees - which is quite a wide range. Lettuce needs full sun to partial shade to flourish, so keep that in mind while planting. In most areas, you can even continue to grow this veggie through the winter as long as you use a cold frame or row cover, allowing you many homegrown salads throughout the season.

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Arugula

This vegetable can be harvested time and time again, typically ready to be plucked from your garden 30 to 40 days after planting. Plant it every two weeks to enjoy a continual harvest in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. If you pick only the outer leaves while harvesting, the same plant will bloom time and time again. While this plant does not do well in heat, it also can be damaged from hard frosts and snow. If you are growing this past the fall and into the winter months, use row covers and thick mulch to protect it from the elements.

Cauliflower

cauliflower growing in the sun

Perhaps one of the most popular veggies in today’s world for its ability to replace carbs at times, cauliflower can be successfully grown in your fall garden. In fact, cauliflower grows best in cool temperatures.

Pumpkins

This veggie is sort of a no-brainer to plant in the fall, as it’s a universal symbol for the season. These come in a wide range of colors and sizes, so you can easily pick what’s best for you and your garden. All varieties of pumpkins do need room to grow, as their vines can reach up to an astounding 30 feet in length. If desired, they can be grown on trellises to allow them more room without taking up an entire garden.

Kale

kale of different colors growing in cold weather

This is another green that should be planted six to eight weeks before the first frost hits. Kale needs full sun to partial shade to flourish and they can be grown into the winter. Believe it or not, frost and snow help kale to have a more bold and richer flavor. When exposed to heat, your kale plant may wither slightly. Don’t give up on it, though - once the cool temperatures come back, it will perk back up.

Carrots

A great veggie to use in fall and winter soups, carrots get great flavor when grown in the fall and winter. Allow them to fully mature as the weather gets colder, and then they can be stored in your fridge for up to three months once harvested.

Mustard Greens

flowering mustard greens

As you’ve probably caught on, greens do pretty well in fall gardens! Mustard greens are no exception to that rule. These seeds can be planted every two to three weeks for a continual harvest in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. Note that these greens need rich and moist soil to thrive. This is because they grow rapidly and produce many leaves to be harvested.

Winter Squash

There are several varieties of winter squash that do well in the colder months. Acorn, spaghetti, butternut, buttercup, and hubbard squashes are all great fall and winter plants that are also wonderful for seasonal meals. These plants should be started indoors as seeds and then put in your outdoor garden as temperatures begin to cool for fall. Like pumpkin plants, squash takes up lots of room, so consider using trellises for planting to make the most of your space.

There are so many plants that can be grown and harvested during one of the most beautiful seasons of the year—fall.

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