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Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Planting your fall and winter vegetable garden is exciting but you need to grow the right cold-hardy crops.

These cold hardy crops can handle frosts and even snow, although they will benefit from the use of season extenders once winter gets too cold or the snow gets too deep. Be sure to vent your season extenders if you’re using them and remove the snow so they don’t suffer too much damage.

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

These fall and winter vegetables should be planted anywhere from early to late summer, and some can even be sown early fall as they grow quickly.

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

How to Harvest these Cold Hardy Vegetables

When you grow your fall and winter vegetable garden these crops may handle frosts and snow but harvesting them requires the right timing. It’s best to wait for them to thaw out otherwise they turn to mush. Most crops will be frosted in the early mornings then ‘rebound’ after the thaw. If your winters get cold use season extenders and wait for them to thaw out. Root veggies can be mulched with straw for easier winter harvesting. I’ve found kale and mache to be ok harvested frosted but again, some taste and texture are compromised.

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Here’s a list of cold hardy crops for your fall and winter vegetable garden. All of these I’ve grown in our zone 5 climate, and I’ve managed to overwinter many of them. I’ve been fall and winter gardening now for 5 years and love to experiment with more varieties every season. My goal is year-round gardening here in the Canadian mountains!

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Kale

Kale is a go to for the fall and winter vegetable garden and one of the crops that many beginner fall and winter gardeners try out first. Most kale varieties are very cold hardy, however, certain varieties can even be grown in the deep winter. Popular varieties include ‘Red Russian’, ‘Lacinato’ (pictured frosted above), Darkbor and Redbor.

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Spinach

Another cold hardy crop perfect for beginners, spinach grows fast and can even be overwintered for early spring harvests. Most varieties can handle frosts and snow. We overwinter ours here in zone 5 down to -20C under the snow.

Arugula

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Arugula is an acquired taste, but I love this spicy green. It’s less spicy grown in the cooler days of fall and can handle frosts and snow. If you let it bolt in the spring it can self-sow and sprout for the fall.

Mache

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Winter Cabbages

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

These are some cold hardy vegetable stars! Although they take many days to grow (100-120) and take up space in the garden these cabbages can handle big temperature dips. I’ve had them unprotected at -15C/5F and harvested them after they’ve thawed. Great varieties include ‘January King’ (picture above), ‘Deadon’, ‘Kalibos’.

Winter Carrots

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Fall and winter carrots taste sweeter than the summer grown ones! Great cold varieties include ‘Napoli’ and ‘Autumn King’

Leeks

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Leeks are a great fall and winter vegetable because they offer flavour unlike many of the others (although I’ve yet to grow celeriac which is cold hardy). Cold hardy varieties include ‘Bandit’, ‘Chinook’, ‘Tadorna’ although I’ve had good luck with ‘Bleu de Solaise’ too pictured above was an overwintered leek.

Tatsoi

Tatsoi is a gorgeous rosette of greens, similar to bok choi but if you give it space it will grow very large. Very cold hardy!

Winter Lettuce

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Surprised to see this tender green on the list? It’s all about the right varieties! ‘Winter Density’ has become my go to for winter lettuce, and I overwinter it too. Pictured above is a large overwintered head compared to the freshly sown seeds in the spring. Other varieties include ‘Rouge D’hiver’  and ‘Merveille de Quatre Saisons’.

Parsnips

I love love love parsnips! Roasted they taste amazing, although not everyone loves the taste of them.  We’ve harvested them in the deep winter February months when the snow thawed!

Collard Greens

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Mustard & Asian Greens

See all the great mustard greens you can grow here.

Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden

Other posts I’ve written on Fall & Winter Gardening:

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Many of the links to products on this site are affiliate links. These are products that I've used or recommend based from homesteading experience. I do make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from these sales.Family Food Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com