Cold tolerant vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, root crops and leafy salad greens can be planted safely in a southern garden as late as November. In northern states, a cold frame or greenhouse is necessary to begin growing vegetables in November. A cold-tolerant plant is one that survives frost. However, hard freezes damage even cold-tolerant plants if they are not protected.
Plant your winter vegetable garden in a site that offers protection from prevailing cold winds. Planting on the east side of a building or fence is a good choice as long as the site receives several hours of sunlight per day.
Clear the site of grasses and weeds with a shovel or hoe eight to 10 days before planting. Pick out any green material by hand. Add a layer of composted organic material 1 to 2 inches deep and a balanced fertilizer. Mix compost and fertilizer into the soil. Follow the label instructions for fertilizer dosage.
Create pathways between areas to be planted to allow room to pick leaves or vegetables without compacting the soil around plant roots.
Dig a hole for each seedling to the container's depth and twice the container’s width. Untangle the roots and place plant into the hole. Compress dirt around the base of the plant to remove air pockets. Plant seeds according to package directions.
Add 1 or 2 inches of mulch around each plant and thoroughly wet the soil with about 1 gallon of water.
Protect the plants when temperatures are below 30 degrees with a row cover, high tunnel or cloth.
Thin vegetables grown from seed when the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall.
Test the soil weekly for moisture. Give the plants 1 inch of water when the soil is dry at a depth of 1 inch.