It’s surprising how many gardeners assume that once the summer is over, so is their garden. There are many different vegetables that are at their best when temperatures are cool – and sometimes even cold – withstanding light to heavy frosts. Seeds of vegetables germinate better in cool soils. Here are some great winter vegetables to consider:
Leaf vegetables include the commonly grown chard, all lettuces and spinach. Leaf vegetables like water, so make sure you keep their soil almost constantly moist (drying only slightly between watering).
Root vegetables, such as, beets, carrots and radishes. There is also onions, leeks and garlic. Some old-fashioned root veggies that a seasoned gardener should try including parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips. Root vegetables like deep, rich soil.
Flower bud Veggies are represented by broccoli and cauliflower. Because these plants do best when night temperatures average about 45-50° F, adjust your planting schedule so that the vegetables mature along with when your local weather experts predict such temps.
The pods, are the peas, including English peas, snap peas and sugar peas. One that deserves more attention is the broad bean (fava or faba), which also likes cool weather. But don’t think that all beans fit in this growing season – common beans are strictly warm-season vegetables. These veggies, too, like a regular watering schedule – but not as moist or as frequent as the leafy vegetables.
With a little planning, we can have plenty of homegrown vegetables to enjoy throughout the colder months.