We want to help you grow delicious, nutritious winter vegetables all year round.
Also, note we are also here to help you select the perfect tractor for your homestead when the time comes.
Let’s get started.
Winter vegetables allow you to get the most out of your garden all year-round.
So you need to find winter-friendly crops.
There are quite a few you can easily grow and harvest. Surprisingly, there are plenty of winter vegetables that you’ll love being able to grow and harvest.
Winter vegetables are a collection of crops that grow in cold weather.
They are perfect for homesteaders. By adding winter crops to your gardens, you’ll be on your way to achieving self-sufficiency. They will also allow your family to save money on store-bought, fresh goods, all year round.
When considering what vegetables grow well in cold weather, it’s important to know your hardiness zone. This way, you can choose what will grow successfully in your climate. Cool-season, leafy crops do well.
Winter Vegetable List
There is an assortment of winter vegetables that grow well.
This list includes beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage,carrots, celery, endive, garlic, kohlrabi, kale, arugula, spinach, swiss chard, leeks, onion, potato, radish, rutabaga, squash, and turnips.
Cold Root Sweetening
Many vegetables get sweeter with frost. You’ll still need to protect them from the cold.
These include beets, carrots, rutabagas, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
Winter Vegetables to Plant
Here are the winter vegetables to plant right away that thrive in the cold…
Kale: Packs a ton of nutrients, including iron and antioxidants. You can plant it in your soil garden or by using aeroponics or hydroponics. Kale and spinach are among the most cold-tolerant leafy greens.
If you live in a cold climate, keep it inside a greenhouse, so it can produce sweet and tender leaves. In addition, you can cover it with frost cloth. Wash and dry the leaves. You can then freeze them for up to two weeks before they lose their freshness.
Carrots: When grown in the winter, carrots can acquire a sweeter taste than usual. Their flavor increases ten-fold if they can thrive during late autumn.
Most varieties are best harvested during late fall.
Carrots have plenty of fantastic health benefits, as they contain beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C (to boost your immune system).
You’ll want to pick the right varieties including bolero, napoli, and mokum.
Consider insulating the roots. By adding shredded leaves and straw to the deeper layers of your garden bed, you can protect them from frost. Also, add more mulch and fabric on top to hold the carrots in place while they grow.
Broccoli: It is an exceptionally hardy winter crop with plenty of minerals and vitamins. Over time, you’ll notice colder temperatures help the florets to become firmer.
If you live in a milder climate, you can plant broccoli during the fall for a winter harvest. Start the seeds indoors at least six weeks before the end of summer for your winter crops. By planting two to four broccoli plants, you should have more than enough for each member of your household.
Your plants must be ready to harvest before temperatures reach above 75°F. There have been times when broccoli has thrived in temperatures below 24°F.
Cabbage: If you’re looking for a vegetable to help keep your immune system healthy, cabbage is a great option. It’s filled with antioxidants and it is easy to eat in several ways. Cabbage is very cold-tolerant.
With plenty of flavors, you’ll have several heads of cabbage to use during the winter. Like many other leafy greens, this vegetable can live outside year-round, even with snow on the ground.
One of the most important growing tips for cabbage is to make sure each head has enough space. You’ll also want to make sure you opt for traditional cabbage compared to Asian varieties. Asian cabbage thrives at temperatures between 29°F and 32°F --- but it will die in colder climates.
Winter Squash: It’s easy to find winter squash in your local grocery store. This happens around the end of fall through early March.
Winter squashes continue to ripen even after they have been picked. There are many different winter options, including kabocha, butternut, acorn, and delicata. All of them do best during fall and winter. You’ll be able to receive vitamin A, potassium, and carotenoids from a single serving.
You will want to start your winter squash seedlings indoors. It is best if the soil has had time to warm to at least 60°F before you plant the seedlings. One of the most important things to know about how to grow vegetables in winter is to be able to protect them from frost. When planting squash in the winter, you must ensure your plants will have up to three months of frost-free temperatures. Also, consider using fabric and mulch for insulation to protect the roots. If winter squash roots are exposed to frigid temperatures, they could be negatively affected.
Onion: Onions are incredibly cold tolerant and can be grown in the winter.
They thrive in mild winters but can also survive moderate frosts. When planted, you might be able to keep your onions for up to two years before harvesting.
There are several unique things about onions. They are a natural pest repellent. Onions also assist with deterring herbivores from the rest of your plants. Green onions are your best bet for a winter crop, as they easily withstand freezing temperatures.
Mache: It’s commonly referred to as lamb’s lettuce or corn salad. It will create up to four-inch leaves. Mache will grow almost anywhere as a short-lived annual plant. Harvest them close to soil level, wash them, and toss them in your salad.
Harvesting mache is easy. It can be directly seeded in late summer. This vegetable self-sows quickly, which means you’ll have plenty to harvest throughout the year.
Arugula: You’ll find that it’s incredibly easy to work with and is accommodating to colder temperatures. As another leafy green packed with antioxidants and iron, it’s full of healthy wintertime essentials.
Arugula is also known for its robust flavor.
Starting in early September, you’ll want to consider seeding, so you have plenty of plants.
They grow best in a polytunnel or greenhouse. Consider astro as your top variety, as it multiplies.
Spinach: Spinach proliferates in both cold and warm weather.
Plant it in early fall if the garden is perfectly moist. When harvested, it pairs perfectly with pasta sauces, salads, and stews.
New Zealand spinach is very sensitive to cold temperatures.
When you’re working in late fall, you must protect your garden bed to promote germination.
Tarp your garden for a few weeks and then remove it. This process will allow the seedlings to feel cold so they can grow.
Swiss Chard: If you want a resilient winter vegetable, then swiss chard is your best option. It is highly reliable and can grow at extraordinarily high and low temperatures.
It also remains hardy regardless of if your soil is poor or rich in nutrients.
Swiss chard can grow at extreme temperatures --- usually between 20°F and 100°F. Even at near-zero degrees, it will stand against freezing weather, while waiting for the sun. Due to its cold hardiness, it can quickly become one of your most-used crops.
For the best results, plant swiss chard seeds in containers, and transplant the starts into the ground or garden bed.
Growing Vegetables in the Winter
Now that you know what vegetables grow well in cold weather, the next thing to do is to plan how you will grow them.
Some of the ingredients on the winter vegetable list require special techniques to thrive. Plan to plant in the fall.
Even though it can be easy to maintain your gardens over winter, there are some precautions to consider.
When you’re working with vegetables, it’s important to consider how they will be planted.
If you don’t intend to use a greenhouse, it is best if you avoid raised garden beds during freezing weather. By planting vegetables deeper in the ground, especially root vegetables, they will take longer to freeze. Your garden beds are closer to freezing temperatures, which can cause your soil to freeze much faster.
Keeping Plants Warm
Some vegetables can grow over winter. They need to receive special care and consideration.
There are a few key elements to use to your advantage to keep your plants and their roots warm.
Mulch insulates the roots to prevent them from freezing.
It’s also a material that is easy to source, can be organic, and is easy to replace during the year. Water also travels easily through the mulch.
Tarp can help your vegetables stay warm during the winter. You can also purchase frost cloth for this purpose.
When you insulate your vegetables, they will be less likely to be affected by the dry cold.
Tarp is very easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
You might be thinking that if you water your plants in the winter, they will freeze. Actually… dry cold is more damaging to plants than wet cold.
By ensuring you water your plant’s roots before a deep freeze, it can insulate and protect them. You won’t want to water the foliage, as it is in direct contact with freezing temperatures.
Water sitting on the foliage will cause the plant to freeze and die.
Preparing Your Soil
It is important that you properly prepare your soil.
For winter crops, the soil will need to be fertilized sufficiently before planting and after harvesting. Consider liquid or compostable materials. Worm tea is a fantastic fertilizer that is easy to apply to your soil and plants.
Compostable materials are ideal, as they can be buried under the soil and absorbed over time.
It is also an organic option that will provide continual nutrients to your surrounding plants.
Choosing a Shelter
There are a few winter crops that can grow outdoors without any protection.
It’s highly likely you’ll have to consider some shelter, whether it be a greenhouse or polytunnels.
Polytunnels are an excellent option for winter crops, as the plastic is a perfect insulator for freezing temperatures. You’ll also find that they help to protect your crops from rain, wind, and snow. However, if you have a ton of crops that need shelter, investing in a backyard greenhouse can be beneficial.
If you need any further help or have any questions about winter vegetables, tractors, or anything else, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.
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