The temperature is dropping but our love for gardening is not. Don’t worry, you don’t have to resign yourself to a lifeless garden! Though fall has arrived and the chill kills our seasonal plants some plants prefer being grown during the colder months. Luckily for us, they are not only pretty to look at but also make wonderful additions to our diets. If you love to see bright colored foliage despite chilly temperatures look into keeping these plants during winter and fall to keep your green thumb moving. Winter vegetable gardening is easy too!
Vegetables that can be planted in the fall for consumption are full of essential vitamins and minerals that can keep us fueled and content throughout the day. Here are a few plants that can grow and flourish during the cooler seasons with great tips for winter vegetable gardening.
Carrots are not only delicious they are also remarkably easy to grow! They rarely suffer diseases and are crack resistant. They can be planted in the fall or winter, as long as they are planted before the first winter frost – a great winter vegetable gardening must-do!
These crisp, crunchy, root vegetables are packed with enough vitamin A to reach 100% of our needed daily intake. Carrots are also full of antioxidants which help combat free radicals, cancer causing molecules in the body. They are incredibly versatile and can be eaten raw, in soups, cooked soft and served as the staple vegetable on a dinner plate, or even in desserts! Nothing beats a warm slice of carrot bread.
Broccoli is great for being grown in the fall or winter because it can germinate at low temperatures and is notorious for thriving in colder climates. However, it still needs a lot of sunlight so plant your broccoli where it can catch the most rays!
This delicious vegetable is an all-around multipurpose friend: Broccoli is excellent when served raw (making a great party snack or tasty addition to a salad) and also delicious when cooked, often served as a side or complimentary ingredient in a meal, like a pasta or casserole. Whichever path you decide to take when it comes to eating your broccoli you can always be sure of the nutritional value it brings to the table: broccoli is full of fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and phosphorous.
Beets take about 50 to 70 days to reach harvest so they should be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost in winter. If planted during warmer seasons, beets are rumored to have a wood-like, stale, unpleasant taste. These beauties are capable of tolerating frost but require damp soil so it is safe to water them even in cold weather.
Not only are these vegetables pack full of vitamin A and potassium but they are also absolutely gorgeous from root to tip; beet roots are bright-dark red, white or yellow and their soft leaves are webbed with a lovely pink hue. Beets have a sharper taste but are delicious served roasted. Their tenderness also makes an amazing base for sweet desserts!
Spinach is a vegetable rich in protein, vitamins, iron, and calcium. Another veggie-fan favorite, spinach is a versatile plant that it is often ate raw for salads, thrown raw into breakfast smoothies, or sauteed to perfection. Spinach is well-known for being a cool-season crop.
Gardeners have found that low tunnels help facilitate the growth of spinach grown in winter, protecting the plants from frost or ice. The lower the temperatures drop, the better for these plants as low nitrogen allows them to flourish. Fertilization should also happen in late winter to keep spinach leaves big and better for harvesting!
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