Plants that you can grow during the winter
How do you grow a garden in the winter?
Most people think the only time you can plant a garden is in the warmer months and then it's harvested in the fall. This is true for some plant varieties but it's also possible to plant vegetables later in the season to put them in dormancy so that they can be harvested in the spring. We'll explain how to grow a bountiful garden in the winter!
One benefit of growing plants in the winter is that it allows you to harvest them earlier on in Spring. Read on about which plants you should grow in the winter months.
How do I save my plants over the winter?
1. Think about where you plants are growing, are they in containers? A raised bed? You'll want to grow in a location that snow drifts and other winter dangers could damage your plants once the snow hits. You also want to choose a location that gets a decent amount of sun. Even though the sun will not be as bright as it would during the summer months it's still important for the plants to continue to undergo photosynthesis.
2. To start, get a shovel and loosen the soil and break up any clumps of dirt, discard any rocks and prepare a good compost material to include with your crops. Dig a hole that is about 1 food into the ground, and add some compost mix to bring nutrition to the roots throughout the winter.
3. Choose the seeds that you'd like to over-winter and plant them in late summer. You might want to consider growing them under grow lights for a short period of time to strengthen their root systems. Using crushed eggshells and worm castings is an excellent way to boost root production.
4. Once your plants or seeds are in the ground you'll want to mulch them twice - once in the summer and then again around September when it starts to cool off. This could be anything from straw, leaves, or a rich compost. This will help protect the plant from harsh weather.
It's absolutely normal to lose a plant or two, it just happens. Winter farmers actually account for this loss when they grow their own crops.
Can you bring outdoor plants inside for the winter?
Yes, in some climates it's just not possible to grow plants outdoors during the winter. In this instance you'll need to plant them in containers. (There's a ton of resources on container gardening)
Once these plants are moved inside, they don't really need much attention. They just need to be kept at a steady temperature above 40 degrees and be sure that they are watered - but sparingly. Only when the top 2 inches are dry. The trick to growing plants indoors is that you need to find a place that will get enough natural light for the plant to thrive. It also wouldn't hurt to spray them every once in awhile to keep the humidity in check.
What plants grow well in winter?
The plants that grow well in winter are plants that have long growing seasons. Onions, garlic, spinach, beans, etc. are all excellent cold water crops because they require little care and are packed full of nutrients which promotes sustainability.
Onions. Onions are great for winter growth because they tend to take care of themselves. They also have a long growing season.
Garlic. Similar to onions, they have a long growing season and are easier to grow.
Perpetual Spinach is an excellent plant that you can cut and grow again. Early autumn sowings will keep you full with tender young leaves throughout winter and regular harvesting during the summer.
Broad beans. The great thing about broad beans is that when they are sown during the fall, they can be harvested in spring - up to a month earlier than spring sown plants.
Peas. The trick to growing peas during the winter is to find a strong variety like “Kelvedon Wonder” or “Meteor.”
Growing in a greenhouse during the winter
There are many items that thrive in cooler temperatures but might not do well in a frozen ground. Instead these plants would do well inside of a greenhouse or a garage.
Lettuce. Lettuce is one of the great plants that grows well in cooler temperatures.
Carrots. Some brands of carrots - like “Nantes Frubund” - are great for winter growth.
Cabbage. Cabbage is great for growers in the northern U.S. Usually, southern states don’t get cold enough to for them to grow a good-sized head.
Broccoli. Broccoli is another great vegetable to start growing at the end of the summer season.
Cauliflower. This is similar to broccoli in that it might not grow well in the south.
Which Vegetables grow well in pots?
We had spoke previously about vegetables that grow best in pots and containers. These are the best vegetables to grow - they have long growing seasons and are packed with nutrition. Packets of these seeds should also be on your survival checklist for sure.
So, the vegetables that grow well in pots are:
* We recommend hybrid or dwarf varieties because they take up less space.
Questions, Comments, Ideas? Reach out!