As the days shorten, your dreams of a garden harvest might start to wane but it’s not time to give up just yet. In much of the United States, you can continue to grow delectable vegetables and achieve an impressive harvest. A winter garden just takes a bit of work even as the days grow shorter and the temperature becomes colder.
Vegetables for a Winter Garden
Some vegetables will continue to grow well when the mercury starts to fall, especially in regions where the winters are mild. The sudden shift in temperature seems to bring out the veggies’ delectable flavors so you can enjoy them with your holiday feasts. You simply need to learn which winter vegetables grow best in your region and then start them in time for a winter harvest.
Cold Hardy Garden Veggie Choices
Gardeners are often surprised to learn that many vegetables are hardy even if a light frost occurs. The veggies can easily tolerate a temperature from 29 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit without suffering any noticeable damage.
Try the following greens for a winter harvest:
- Leaf lettuce
- Swiss chard
- Asian greens such as mizuna, Chinese cabbage, or tatsoi
- Savoy cabbage
- Irish potatoes
Grow the above winter vegetables for an early spring garden. In areas with mild winters such as the Southwest, Northwest, and Pacific Northwest, the veggies will flourish throughout the winter with extraordinarily little care. It is common to see lettuce and Swiss charge completely covered by frost with the temperatures having slightly above freezing but the plants continue to grow and look outstanding.
Hardy Root Vegetables
If you are seeking hardy root crops, then try turnips and radishes. You can enjoy the root and the top greens. Other optimum choices include collards, kale, and mustard greens. Parsley is an excellent choice along with the herb’s rosemary, sage, and thyme.
Advantages of a Winter Garden
There are several advantages to growing winter vegetables over a warm-weather garden.
Remember when the temperature drops, you can also lower your water usage. opt to use soaker hoses and drip irrigation which provides enough water for the crops while providing great conservation in areas where water shortage is an issue.
Another huge perk to growing a winter garden is that the lower outdoor temperatures mean you’ll contend with fewer pests. You do have to watch for slugs and aphids which are very persistent and will continue to be a problem in frigid winters.
Winter veggies taste better. The cold weather appears to bring out the robust tones of leafy greens.
Deciding the right time to plant a winter garden is never easy. You should check with our local extension office. Usually, in USDA zones 7 to 10, you will start your winter garden in mid to late October. Try to determine the region’s frost date.
Planting a winter garden provides you with year-round greens and root veggies. However, just as with any garden, you’ll need to provide water and nutritions for the garden to thrive, so be sure to contact Humboldts Secret Supplies to learn about our many nutrient solutions to help your winter garden thrive.