What to Grow in a Winter Vegetable Garden

It’s difficult to keep a diverse diet in the winter because the selection of winter garden vegetables is pretty slim. There are solutions however, so today we’ll learn more about what grows in the winter, frost resistant plants, frost protection for plants and the best ways to enjoy these winter garden vegetables.

Winter garden vegetables

Frost resistant plants

Winter hardy plants include beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, Irish potatoes, leaf lettuce, radishes, rutabaga, Swiss chard and turnips. You can also start Spinach and mustard in mid-September, when temperatures cool.

Winter Garden Vegetables

Ideally, these winter garden vegetables should be started in Mid-August indoors and then once strong enough, move them outdoors for a longer growing season. Starting the seeds indoors allows for the plants to mature long enough before the frost.

Vegetables to plant in the winter

Winter garden vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and leaf lettuce do best as transplants.

In mid-February, toward the end of the winter, you can plant cabbage and onions. Other winter hardy crops, including cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, carrots and radishes, can be successfully planted at that time.

Around mid-March, we can also include green beans, squash and corn. Check out this month by month vegetable planting guide to get a head’s start on future planting times. Here is another vegetable planting guide for the Tulsa area.

Hardy plants

“Hardy” plants tolerate some amount of short-term freezing, while “tender” plants are killed or injured by freezing temperatures. When ice crystals form in plant cells it causes frost injuries. The injuries make water unavailable to plant tissues and disrupts the movement of fluids. Frost-damaged leaves appear water-soaked, shrivel and turn dark brown or black.

Frost Protection for Plants

If you’ve already planted tender plants, there is still things you can do to protect from frost.

Wet soil holds heat better than dry soil, protecting roots and warming air near the soil, so make sure to water the soil thoroughly.

You can use bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets make as suitable covers. Use stakes to keep material, especially plastic, from touching foliage. Make sure to remove these coverings when the temperatures go up to keep from cooking the plants.

For a short cold period, low plantings can be covered with mulch, such as straw or leaf mold. Uncover once the danger of frost has passed.

If you have the resources, place a 100-watt lamp designed for outdoor use high enough to light the garden. It can emit enough warmth to reduce frost damage. Non-LED holiday lights will also work. Be sure the bulbs don’t touch any covering materials.

If your plants are in containers, you can also bring them indoors.

Winter Vegetable Recipes

I’m not sure about you, but most of my favorite vegetables are summer crops. Other than vegetables like potatoes and onions, that are easy to store, my preference for vegetables are slim in the winter. However, over the years I have been introduced to ways that make winter vegetables just as delicious.

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Broccoli

Roasted broccoli is delicious, but with chopped garlic and shredded Parmesan cheese, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Once you perfect the roasting vegetable method, this can be used with all sorts of vegetables and they are all delicious.

Cauliflower Butternut Soup

The main ingredients in this soup are both stars in winter vegetable category. It’s also perfect for those cold winter evenings.

Kohlrabi Lasagna

The tomatoes were roasted and turned into marinara sauce then frozen, and the kohlrabi was added along with other winter vegetables for a perfect winter dish.

Sauteed Cabbage

Sauteed vegetables are another one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables. This sauteed cabbage is easy and sure to taste great, plus it goes great as a side dish for a variety of meals.

Brussel Sprouts Hash

This brussel sprout hash recipe also features eggs sunny side up and also stars winter vegetables.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley

Like I mentioned, roasted vegetables are my favorite, even mixed together. This recipe showcases several winter vegetables, but feel free to mix it up and add your own favorites.

Leave a comment with your favorite winter vegetable recipes so I can add it to the list!

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