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Planting vegetables to grow in winter is my passion
I grow food during the summer months too, but having months of extra harvests has been my drive. Living in a zone 5 Canadian mountain climate, hasn’t stopped me from winter gardening either.
The winter vegetable garden means growing the right winter crops.
The right winter vegetables are ones that can handle that freezing and thawing that happens frequently. You might have a mild winter in your area, with no frosts or snow. Or you might get a lot of both. I’ve been using unheated season extenders for our winter garden. From our unheated winter greenhouse, to a fall polytunnel greenhouse and low tunnels, you can also use cold frames.
Below you can see frozen winter vegetables
Then once the temps hover above zero then thaw
It’s once the plants have thawed that you can harvest them!
You never want to harvest frozen winter vegetables, they’ll turn to mush
So what vegetables can you grow in a winter garden?
First of all, before I share this list, the winter vegetables aren’t typically ‘growing’. They are in a state that allows you to harvest them, but you need to plant them long before winter sets in.
I go into details of timing your winter greens in my ‘growing greens year-round’ guide, which you can get for only $2.99
I’ve written many winter gardening posts on getting the timing right and creating a planting schedule for these crops.
- Fall and Winter Garden Plans and Planting Schedule
- Growing Food Year-Round
- How to Plant your Fall and Winter Garden
- Unheated Winter Greenhouse Growing
- Succession Planting for Better Garden Harvests
- The Family Food Garden Book
- Cold Hardy Crops for the Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden
Best winter vegetables to harvest in the colder months
Remember to select cold hardy varieties within this list. Many seed catalogs will show you which ones are great for winter gardening.
- Mustard Greens
- Winter radishes/daikon
- Collard Greens
- Winter cabbages
- Chinese/Napa cabbage
- Winter lettuce
- Green onions
Do you have a favorite winter vegetables you grow and harvest?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.