A Winter Garden – Best Vegetables to Grow During Winter
Winter can make a gardener shake in their boots, literally and figuratively! However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, winter can be an amazing time to work on your garden. You don’t have to worry about what to plant during the winter months because, fortunately for us, there are lots of vegetables that grow and taste better in cooler temperatures!
Growing vegetables in the winter isn’t as hard as you might think. There are vegetables that thrive in a cooler climate. So, what exactly are the vegetables that do well in cold weather?
The flowering heads or curds of cauliflowers best ripen in cold weather. This makes early winter or late autumn the optimal time to plant cauliflowers. Cauliflowers have extensive roots so make sure to plant them in deep, rich soil with full access to sunlight.
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Cabbage is a hardy cool-season plant that is easy to grow. Its planting season is long but needs full sun or only partial shade. Planting cabbages in the appropriate conditions will produce a fruitful and nutritious harvest.
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Peas are grown during cold weather as long as the ground is cold but can be worked. Garden-grown peas during this season can be much sweeter than store-bought peas! They’re also relatively easy to grow as long as it’s done during the proper weather conditions.
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Kale is more well known for winter gardening than most other vegetables. A light frost can make kale sweeter! The logic behind this is that its plant produces sugars in order to cope with the drop in temperature. It’s best to plant kale in a shadier area as heat can turn it bitter.
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Turnip is a highly nutritious staple food that grows best in cool weather. Unlike how flexible it is when it comes to cooking, turnips have a specific growing season that should be followed if you’re interested in planting them. This is dictated by when the soil begins to warm, how soon it gets hot in summer, and when the weather starts to cool down.
Beets are almost always planted during winter because they grow extremely well in cooler weather. Its roots store more sugar in the cold so plantings that mature through winter produce the sweetest batch of beets! These shouldn’t be planted until the temperature of the soil is at least 4 degrees Celsius. For many parts of Australia, they can be grown all winter long.
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Potatoes are a winter-early spring crop that is particularly great for cold weather! The best time to plant potatoes is approximately two to three weeks before the last frost date. If you’re planning on planting potatoes during winter, you can choose to use potato towers, plant in mounds, or in potato bags.
Spinach is a bit more challenging to maintain than other vegetables in this list. However, they are a fantastic cool-weather crop that produces a mild and sweet harvest full of robust flavour when cooked. Spinach requires well-draining, fertile soil that is moist but not soggy. Also, as long as the weather stays cool, spinach benefits from full sunlight.
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Brussels sprouts are a fantastic cool-season crop that is reliable during winter. They are generally grown at temperatures between 7 to 24 degrees Celsius. A little frost can make brussels sprouts sweeter as long as the freeze only lasts for short periods of time.
Carrots are one of the most reliable vegetables you can plant in winter as their roots become sweeter after a hard freeze. However, the optimal temperature for carrots to grow is 13 degrees Celsius overnight and 24 degrees throughout the day.
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Leeks are remarkably winter-hardy vegetables as they survive even in frozen soil. They can tolerate temperatures down to -7 degrees Celsius! In growing leeks, you can choose to pick them in the winter once they ripen in late autumn. However, they can remain in the ground throughout the colder months until they are ready to pick.
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Broccoli is a hardy vegetable that can stand through winter reliably. They are relatively easy to grow as long as you follow a simple and proper guide to growing broccoli. If you’re planning on planting broccoli this season, make sure to read up on the optimal time to plant them for optimal results!
Keep your winter gardening experience easier by having all the necessary tools and seeds at hand. Shop for everything you need online on Quality Garden Supplies, your trusted local garden store in Australia!