If you live in an area where winters are long and snowy you can still grow vegetables in such a climate. To grow winter crops successfully you need to learn about the best vegetables to grow in winter. Winter veggies are easy to grow but you need to protect them from the harsh weather conditions. The only cold-tolerant vegetables can survive in the winter season. In this post, you’ll know how I grow winter vegetables in my garden in mini hoop tunnels, greenhouses, etc. Follow the steps and grow your vegetables this winter.
How to choose the best vegetables to grow in winter?
If you want to grow winter vegetables for the first time. Then need to start with a few winter crops. Once you get success then you can grow more winter vegetables next year. You can grow vegetables in mini hoop tunnels or in the cold frames. Beginners need to experiment with both the techniques to find out which works best for them. In a mild cold climate, you can use fabric cover to protect your growing winter vegetables. For best protection from harsh cold air use easy to assemble Fleece tunnel garden cloche.
When your vegetables need more protection then cover the fabric tunnel with polythene cover. Also cover the Kale, leeks, and other green salad items.
In a colder climate, you need to give extra protection to your vegetables by insulating them. This technique keeps the soil and root area a little warmer than the actual temperature. In the cold regions, you should choose Mache, Kale, and tatsoi like vegetables to grow in winter.
Another important point is vegetables show slower growth once the day shrinks and they get sunlight for less than 10 hours per day. Therefore, you need to take quick actions and start the early planting of vegetables. In my region, the last week of November is the time when Sunlight is available for 8 hours per day. I always try to plant early in winter and make sure my vegetables reached a harvestable size at the time of Christmas.
Best time to grow winter veggies
For the best possible harvest, you need to plant the vegetable at the right time. The right time for planting winter vegetables is mid-summer or early spring.
The smart way of winter gardening is to start growing plants when the seed catalogs arrive in the market. Read the growing instructions carefully and follow each step. Some vegetables are cold tolerant and others are not.
Like dinosaur kale and Redbor kale. Both are members of the kale family but dinosaurs cannot tolerate the cold weather whereas Redbor kale is the perfect winter gardening.
9 vegetables to grow in winter
You will be surprised to know that spinach loses its nutritional values quite after it is harvested. In fact, some varieties of spinach lose 89% of the nutrients within the first 48 hours of harvest. This means that the spinach you buy from the market has only 10 to 15 % nutrients in it. So, the best way is to eat fresh plucked spinach.
Grow spinach at home in pots and enjoy a full boost of nutrients. It does not need a high amount of fertilizers and care. Just give clean water to it and fertilize it with organic fertilizer just only once.
Lettuce is the most widely grown vegetable in winter. In fact, we all eat lettuce at least once every day. You cannot grow all lettuce varieties in the winter season. There are some special lettuce winter varieties that are easy to grow and care for in cold weather. Winter density, Red salad bowls are the most common winter varieties of lettuce. Lettuce is a healthy vegetable that eats salad at lunchtime always add lettuce to your salad plate. It gives healthy nutrients and fiber to our body. Moreover, it is easy to digest it for all groups. Grow it in pots, raised garden beds, etc. Use a sharp knife to harvest lettuce and it will grow again until you pluck it from the roots or until the season ends.
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Here in Pensacola, we call winter carrots winter candy. Because winter carrots are sweet, juicy, and delicious. The flavor improves dramatically after a few touches of frost in late autumn. Sow the seeds in mid-summer. Mulch the area around the growing carrots in November. Mulching protects the carrots from the harsh cold weather. Whenever you want to harvest them just pull them out of the soil.
Onions are the most important ingredient in our kitchen. We cannot imagine our recipes without it. You can grow onions in large containers. Growing them in containers and pots is easy as compared to growing them in the garden. Buy onion seeds, read the instructions, and sow seeds accordingly. Because there are many varieties some needs warm environment and some can tolerate cold weather. Always use a mulch to insulate crops that you grow in winter. Mulching acts as an insulator and gives your vegetables warm conditions.
It is possible to grow arugula in all winter conditions. There are 2 types of arugula that you can grow and harvest in winter Green and Wild. Green varieties are easy to grow and need less care. Again, mulching is a must to keep the roots warms.
But the good news is the wild variety is more tolerant of cold weather. It grows at a slower rate. Grow it in polytunnels in early September to ensure the continuous supply of it.
For harvesting you have 2 options the first option is to harvest it as a baby plant or lets it grow more and harvest full-sized arugula.
Radish is another best vegetable to grow in winter. You can cook it or eat it raw. It has many health benefits. One of the most important benefits of eating radishes in winter is it improves the working of digestive systems. Moreover, radishes germinate in a short time and also grow from seeds to harvest in 30 to 40 days. Grow it from quality seeds and eat fresh sweet radishes.
It is a popular vegetable in North America, China, India, and many parts of Europe. You can grow this versatile vegetable in containers under grow lights and also in your garden. It does not need heavy fertilization. If you grow it in composted soil then you don’t need to fertilize it. Most of the American dishes have green pepper as the main ingredient.
You can also grow red and yellow peppers in the winter season. It is best to grow bell pepper in polytunnels or indoors under the grow lights.
You can also grow this amazing vegetable in grow tents.
Plant the garlic in autumn and it will be ready for the harvest in summer. Garlic takes a long time to grow. Choose the best garlic variety and grow it in your garden. You can also use plastic pots to grow garlic. Because plastic keeps the soil and root area warm. Whereas other pots like terra cotta and clay can break in hard cold winters.
Beans are not heavy eaters they can be easily grown in containers in the winter season. Any type of medium size container is perfect to grow beans. But do not grow a Vine variety of beans in pots. They are suitable for outdoor garden and also need support. Every vine type of plant needs sport. Bush type of beans is good for container gardening.
How to care for a winter vegetable garden?
Vegetables need bright sunlight to grow healthy and to produce a heavy harvest. So, go to your garden and find a place where your veggies can get enough sunlight. Plant veggies in rows and close to each other. This way you can grow more vegetables in less space.
To prevent plant disease and pest infections. Grow herbs and other plants that are proven to repel certain types of pests.
Avoid using chemical contained fertilizers on your winter crops. For best results use organic liquid fertilizer. If you have compost at home it is best to add it to your garden and then grow vegetables.