Fall Gardening: How to Grow Cold Weather Vegetables
If you’ve already done the work of digging and prepping garden beds for spring and summer, why not make use of that space for nutritious veggies this fall? With a little effort, you can harvest garden goodies well into winter—even in snow!
Most garden greens and plenty of hardy veggies will thrive in cold weather, and many are actually sweetened by autumn’s dipping temperatures. Some cold-hardy plants, such as kale, mâche and spinach, will still be sending out tender, new leaves when it’s snowing outside. Root crops such as beets and carrots store well throughout the winter, providing four seasons of fresh flavor.
If you think winter gardening involves months of eating kale, think again. A wide variety of garden vegetables tolerate freezing just as well as, and some even better than, most kale varieties.
On my quest to select the top vegetables for winter gardening, I invited three other gardeners from around North America to share their favorites, based on their experiences growing in winter. All of these gardeners grow in colder climates than my own here in the Kentucky mountains (zone 6b), so if you think growing in winter is out of your reach, I hope you’ll be inspired to give it a try.
Cool-weather vegetable crops are a gardener’s best friend, although many people are still unfamiliar with them. Many of the vegetables grown in summer gardens actually do better in cooler weather when the average temperature is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit; light frost can actually improve some cool-season crops.