Winter Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

One of the best perks of the spring and summer is picking and eating fresh vegetables, right from your own garden. But when winter settles in, your time in the garden is cut short or ends altogether as a result of the cold.

Luckily, there are ways you can work around these winter conditions to grow winter vegetables and even get started on next spring's garden. With this winter vegetable calendar and planting guide, you will have a better idea on what you can grow now, how you can maintain plants, and how you can prep vegetables for the change of the seasons.

Which vegetables can grow during the winter?

Cool-season vegetables, which include leafy greens like lettuce, cabbage, and spinach, plus others like broccoli and cauliflower, can be grown in the winter due to their hardiness and ability to take on cooler environments. These types of vegetables should be planted before the ground freezes and monitored regularly to make sure they are healthy and free of disease.

Herbs like parsley, mint, and cilantro and are also easy to grow, if you'd rather keep your plants indoors. Just place the herb of your choice in a container that has drainage holes, and water as needed. When the temperatures warm up, you can transplant herbs to your garden.

How can you prevent damage from winter weather?

Keep plants sheltered and prevent exposure to harsh conditions by using cloches or cold frames on vegetables you grow outside. These structures serve as mini greenhouses for plants and should be located in areas that receive sunlight. The heat that is contained in cloches and cold frames is needed to stimulate growth. However, it's OK to expose plants on warmer days to make sure they don't suffocate or overheat.

What can you do now to prepare for next spring?

If your plants aren't suited for winter planting, you can still store bulbs or order seeds through a seed catalog to prepare for the following season. Make sure bulbs and seeds are both stored in dry, cool environments and labeled properly so you can identify plants when it comes time for spring planting.