Winter Vegetable Gardening

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Winter Vegetable Gardening

With winter fast approaching, don’t be deterred by the cold temperatures that might ensue. No matter which region you live in, you can easily grow a flourishing vegetable garden. In fact, typical winters are not severe enough to damage winter vegetable plants as long as they’re carefully mulched and planted early enough to allow full maturity before frost takes over. Even if you live in some of the most frigid northern states, you can utilize hot beds or greenhouses to harvest delicious veggies. So take a break from tending to some of those more laborious flowers and grow some edibles. They’re fresher and cost a fraction of what you would likely pay in grocery stores. From leafy greens to root vegetables, you can grow just about any vegetable you’d like during the winter months – just remember to follow some of these tips and tricks…

Where to Grow: Planning is the key to winter vegetable gardening. If you live in the south, you can pretty much plant your vegetables anywhere. Ideally, spots that receive the most sunlight and that will be protected from unwanted cooler winds work best. If you live in the north, you’ll most likely have to use a hot bed, cold frame, or greenhouse to ensure plants survive drastic temps. Indoor gardening becomes a popular option throughout the winter months as well. If you don’t think you will be able to consistently and actively tend to your winter garden, consider container gardening as an alternative.

When to Grow: Based on your location and climate, when to grow greatly differs from region to region. First, look at a map of growing zones to determine when the first average frost date for your location will occur. Based on that information, you can work backwards. Find out how long each specific vegetable takes to mature, and plant that many days before the first frost. Many take about 90 days to maturity.

What to Grow:

  • Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, and Lettuce): Leafy greens can be produced all winter with the absence of any heated devices to help and typically take the least amount of time to mature. Start planting in the fall so that these plants mature before the bitter cold of December and January hit. Keep the soil fertile and water regularly.
  • Beets: Beets take around 90 days to mature. Since they can survive frost and freezing temperatures, they’re a good choice for northern climates. Make sure soil is above 50 degrees before planting and that it remains moist for germination.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts also take about 90 days to mature, and interestingly enough, take on more flavor if touched by a light frost.
  • Onions, leeks, peas, potatoes, cabbage… the possibilities are endless!
Successfully growing winter plants has a vast array of benefits. There’s nothing better than freshly grown produce, so don’t let wintertime block you from the added nutrients and flavors they produce. You can extend the growing season of these vegetables with various appliances such as raised beds. Since soil in raised beds is warmer, winter vegetables tend to live longer.

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  • Rogue Staff
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