The term “winter vegetable” is frequently used to describe that which are technically “cool season” vegetables which are planted in the late summer or early fall and lift well into the fall and winter. What winter vegetables are great to plant is dependent mainly on the harshness of the winter. A few winter vegetables may be left at the backyard and harvested as they are wanted. Others are left at the ground over the ground and harvested in the spring.
Calculating Planting Date
Most winter vegetables are planted in mid to late summer following warm weather vegetables planted in the spring are harvested. You need to plant winter vegetables early enough for them to mature before killing frosts restrict their growth. Seed packages usually give the time needed for a vegetable to adult. Since vegetables develop more slowly in the fall, you must plant them at a date which allows them to mature fourteen days before the expected first frost.
Winter Vegetable Temperature Minimums
Vegetables which could withstand drops in temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit include chives, collard, garlic, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, onions, parsley, parsnips, salsify and strawberries. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, endive, oriental radish, Swiss chard and turnips can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Vegetables which may accept minimal temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit include beets, carrots, fava beans and leaf lettuce. Celeriac, celtuce, fennel, mustard and rutabaga cannot withstand temperatures below 20 degrees.
Vegetables planted in the fall and harvested in the winter include carrots, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, parsnips, rutabagas, salsify and turnips. Vegetables harvested in the early spring include celery, chives, collard, lamb’s lettuce, garlic, kale, leaf lettuce, onion, onion, spinach and Swiss chard. Vegetables which can be harvested either in the winter or early spring include beets, broccoli, cabbage and oriental radishes.
Planning and Planting Considerations
Broadly speaking, urban gardens are warmer than rural gardens at precisely the same climate. There are small variations of climate in a garden; those are known as micro-climates. The warmest areas are perfect for winter vegetables. Avoid putting winter vegetables at the bottom of a hill where cold settles or where they will be exposed to the end. When you buy seeds, then check the package to see if they are appropriate for fall planting. Several varieties of the same vegetable are more acceptable for growing in the spring.