What Vegetables Can I Grow in the Winter?

Winter vegetables are welcome additions to gardeners who wish to continue growing their own food once frost has set in. These vegetables are hardy and prefer cooler temperatures and wet soil to produce the largest yield. Winter vegetables are generally easy growing and require little care. Insects are generally not a problem with winter vegetables, and they grow well in partial shade.

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens are a winter crop that prefers cooler temperatures and are tolerant to frost and a light freeze. They are planted in early fall and prefer a light, sandy soil. Water turnip greens weekly with approximately 1 to 2 inches of water. Fertilize with a good nitrogen fertilizer at the time of planting and allow them to get at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. The plants mature within two months after planting. Leave the turnip greens in the garden until they are ready to be used. Pull the turnip greens roots out of the ground when they are mature and ready to be harvested. Turnip greens are also grown for their roots, which are turnips. Turnips have a pungent flavor similar to that of radishes. They prefer lightly fertilized, well-drained soil, six to eight hours of direct sunlight and weekly watering. These vegetables are often boiled before eating and are a popular side dish in the south.

Onions

Onions are an excellent cold season crop but can adapt to a wide variety of temperatures. The plants require up to eight hours of direct sunlight in order to produce the onion bulb. Bulb size is also dependent on the amount of moisture in the soil, space between plants and the amount of nutrients in the soil. The ground should be kept moist during the entire growing season. Onions thrive with a good nitrogen fertilizer when planted and the bed should be kept free of weeds and insects.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a late season vegetable. Broadcast broccoli seeds late summer, and they will continue to produce as late as December. This vegetable is generally ready for harvest 60 days after it has been planted. Plant broccoli shallowly in the ground with a good starter fertilizer. It prefers moist soil and direct sunlight and can survive cold temperatures and a light freeze. Broccoli can be susceptible to garden pests, so use herbicide for control. This vegetable is best eaten fresh, but you can store mature plants for several days in the refrigerator.

Keywords: winter gardens, winter vegetables, late vegetables

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.