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Winter Vegetable Garden

You can grow vegetables in any season. Some varieties do best in wintertime.

Although the main gardening season has come and gone, you may not realize that there are vegetables that can grow well in winter.


Although the main gardening season has come and gone, you may not realize that there are vegetables that can grow well in winter. Winter vegetable gardens can have more diversity in Southern states where late-season temperatures are not as cool as other areas of the country, but even Northern areas can enjoy frost-hardy winter vegetables.

Vegetables for winter gardens include:

  • Leafy greens, like chard, spinach and lettuce generally prefer cooler temperatures, and they grow quickly enough that if they are planted in your garden in November, you may be able to harvest before the worst part of winter hits.

  • Members of the cabbage family, including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, also prefer cool weather.

  • Some root vegetables, such as parsnips, onions, and carrots will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 35o F.

  • Plant fava beans and sweet peas as late as mid-November for a spring harvest.

  • Perennial herbs, including lavender and rosemary don't mind cold temperatures and can generally survive through the winter.

  • Plant garlic directly from a clove in deep, well-drained soil. The deep soil will retain heat as the garlic develops over the winter and is ready for harvest in late spring.


If you're planning to grow a vegetable garden in the winter, always consider the average frost dates, so you can plan to protect your plants from frost damage on chilly nights. Not sure what to plant? Contact your local cooperative extension office for advice.

More tips on growing a winter vegetable garden:
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