Your garden needs planning as much as your life does. Having winter round the corner should not stop you from leaving your garden land barren. There are many crops around the world that adapt to the winter temperature drops and survive beautifully. Did you know that vegetables that pass the frost tend to be sweeter than the other vegetables grown at another time of the year? This happens because when a vegetable responds to a cold temperature, it produces extra sugar, making it taste sweeter than usual.
While some crops like pepper, squash, melons, and tomatoes would not tolerate the cold temperatures, many others will make your harvest worth the while.
Let us check out 15 crops you should try growing this fall or winter:
Beetroot is an ideal vegetable that adapts to both the summer and the winter temperatures. During the summer, beetroots form an essential part of summer salads and pickles. And during the winters, beets are used to make different kinds of vegetable recipes. This versatile veggie will fill your plates with taste & richness and your gardens with radiance. This is one of the nutritious crops to grow in fall or winter.
Broccolis can survive in overly cold temperatures that are as low as -2.5 degrees Celsius or 28 degrees Fahrenheit. From salads to pasta and from seasonings to sauteed veggies- broccoli surely brings the best of the taste to the plate.
It is important to note that a broccoli plant must be kept weed-free. Make sure that heavy-comports-feeders like tomatoes or pumpkins were not planted at the same place earlier. Do not water the plant from the top, but keep it well-watered and Protect it from bugs and caterpillars, as the plants attract them a lot. Use summer cloth to cover, or even a net will work. Grow the plant in part shade, and you will be good to go.
3. Brussels Sprouts
Two Words for this one- A Winter Vegetable. Brussels Sprout is a happy crop that dances its ways around 80-100 days in early winter to provide us with the best produce. Spare some space in your summer garden to sow the sprout seeds so that they will be ready for the harvest in winter.
Cabbage or the Winter Cabbage is very well known for its quality of surviving the frost and is a great vegetable to sow during Winters.
The winter weather is in favor of carrots. The reaction of the carrots towards the drop in the temperature helps it produce more sugars and that, in turn, guards the roots against freezing. The top of the carrot can tolerate a temperature of 15 degrees Fahrenheit, while the roots can do even more.
Cauliflower, unlike the other veggies from its family, is a little more temperature-sensitive. The factors that can grow the best cauliflower are the perfect timing and the perfect temperatures. A majority of cauliflower is grown in the Coastal Valleys of California and the hills & plains of India. The temperatures there are consistent over some time and do not bring any sudden change. Cauliflower can grow well in the winters if you provide it with the best soil, the appropriate supply of water, and the perfect nutrients.
Spring cauliflowers can be planted between 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Give each cauliflower its own space to grow. For this, you may need to place every 18 inches apart in a column, and the rows can be planted 30 inches apart too. Try to add compost (as organic as it could), and do not forget to cover the young plants and give them some support of daily supervision until they mature.
Pro-tip: Apply a mulch of several inches and water at least 1 inch a week. Every fortnight, provide the cauliflower bed with either compost tea or a balanced fertilizer. You might also want to build protection for the plants by covering the cloches to prevent the stalks from weakening. Do not skip to remove some weeds from time to time that would want to reach out for nutrients from the cauliflowers.
Although celery is a winter crop in most regions, the north grows it as a summer crop too. Since celery needs to be cautiously protected from direct heat & sunlight, early winter & winter make it a perfect temperature for the crop to grow. If you already grow veggies, you must be aware that celery requires extremely rich soil and a good water supply.
There will be some interruptions in the way of preparing for the best harvest. Insects & parsley worms, carrot rust flies, and nematodes will attack the plants and destroy the harvest. Celery leaf tiers are small yellow & white striped caterpillars that will have to be handpicked as a part of caution. Distorted leaves and cracked stems, on the other hand, can be restored back to normal by spraying liquid seaweed extract every two weeks until the symptoms completely disappear.
Like all the other brassicas, Collards also sweeten as the temperature lowers. They can withstand the lowest temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant the collards 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost.
9. Green Onions
Green Onions are a little different than the usual onions. These onions are altogether recognized as separate vegetables that grow green stalks from white bulbs (the actual onion). Plant the seeds for 4-5 weeks indoors before you transfer them outdoors. Green onions can also be grown in water or egg cartons.
10. Leafy Lettuce
Leafy lettuce can show up within 6 to 8 weeks during winters. They resist colder temperatures and can survive in lower light levels. With chemical involvement in veggies bought at the store, people give an upper hand to homegrown veggies. Lettuce can surely be your choice to grow all year round.
From Indian breakfast tortillas to French breakfasts, radish is loved by all. Radish is a very adjustable plant that grows even in cold temperatures. It needs small spaces and matures quickly. Plant the radish in well-nourished soil, has adequate moisture, and is fertilized to the T. Always keep in mind to harvest it as soon as it reaches its edible size. It is advised to keep an eye before heat harms the harvest.
Spinach, too, needs to be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost, and mid needs some row covering to keep its growth uninterrupted. The best advantage of having grown spinach in winters- the more the temperature drops, the more sweetness spinach brings to itself.
Turnips have been known for centuries for the nutritional qualities of high fiber, vitamins, and cancer-fighting properties. These have proven to be a staple food item for humans as well as livestock.
Pro-tip: Dig the soil 8 inches deep, add compost for faster maturity, scatter the seeds in the above 2 inches that were dug, and water them gently & consistently, to begin with. Full sun will help add nutrients to the soil, so plant them in late summer for the harvest to initiate in the winters. The seeds will require warmth to fertilize and generate growth. 40 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal temperature for the seeds to sprout within two weeks. Make sure that the environment is not over-heated since it can cause the sprouts to taste bitter.
14. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard not only tolerates winter but also puts up with frost. Chards can be planted in the first spring, and the harvest can be earned throughout the summer. Chards will mostly hibernate in the winters and get ready for another round of harvest next summer.
Pro-tip: Cut the leaves 3 inches above the ground. This way, the plant will have greater chances to grow back. Swiss chard seeds are not individual seeds but a cluster of some. Therefore, plant the cluster of seeds 2-3 inches apart from each other within a row and keep the row 15-18 inches apart from each other.
Plant Kale 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. Let sunlight and moist soil do the magic. Kale, most of the time, tastes bitter when bought from the store. That is because they are grown artificially under adverse circumstances. Kale, when harvested in the winter, will fulfill your requirements of a nutrient-full and flavourful vegetable.
If you are keen on growing veggies in your backyard or in your garden, you must learn a little more before you begin. The more you know, the better you will be able to make your plants survive and provide yourself with a good or even great harvest. Self-grown veggies are organic, full of nutrition, and help you gain confidence that you are eating the right ones. Check out our website bookaworkshop.in and type ‘plant’ in the search box to check out our workshops and blogs based on your plant interest.
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If you’re an expert, this is your chance to register with us and spread your knowledge about crops globally with our workshops.