Winter weather does not mean that you must wait for fresh vegetables. Greens, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and root crops do well in winter vegetable gardens. Winter vegetables are started in late October, early November. Depending on the harshness of winter in your area you may have to consider using a greenhouse or covered raised beds to protect plants from extreme moisture and temperatures.
Winter Gardening in Raised Beds
Plant seeds and seedlings in your raised bed. Cover the seeds with straw. Place straw around seedlings like mulch. Water the garden to moisten the soil.
Pound dowel rods into the ground around the outside of the raised bed. The dowel rods need to be at least eight inches into the ground and spaced two feet apart along the longest sides of the raised bed. The dowel rods should be opposite and parallel to each other. Do not place dowel rods on the ends.
Slide one end of the PVC pipe over the dowel rods on one side. Secure with wood screws using the drill with screwdriver bits.
Pull PVC pipe over to the opposite forming a hoop. Slide the end over the dowel rod. Secure with wood screws.
Unroll the plastic drop cloth and open completely. Start with one end of the drop cloth lined up with the base of the raised bed. Secure the end to the raised bed using the staple gun. Bring the drop cloth over the top of the PVC hoops and pull it snuggly against the hoops and the opposite of the raised bed. Secure with the staple gun. Cut the drop cloth evenly along the base of the raised bed. Cover the remaining hoops, securing the plastic drop cloth with the staple gun.
Cut sections of the drop cloth large enough to cover the open ends of the raised bed. Secure to the end hoops using duct tape. Place bricks against the bottom of the drop cloth to keep wind from blowing the plastic upward.
Seal the seams of the plastic using duct tape. This will keep heat and moisture from escaping the raised beds.
Winter Gardening in a Greenhouse
Fill seed trays with potting soil. Plant seeds in the seed trays. Place on shelves in the greenhouse.
Fill grow pots with potting soil. Place seedlings in the grow pots. Place on shelves in the greenhouse.
Water seeds and seedlings keeping the soil moist. Do not over water.