7 Vegetables to Plant in the Winter

Some vegetables grow well despite colder temperatures. Which ones should you consider growing in the winter?

There are some vegetables that grow well despite colder temperatures, ice, and even snow. Here’s a list of plants that you can plant in the winter that will produce tasty veggies by spring.

1. Kale

A winter garden would be lacking without a variety of hardy kale. Kale actively grows in colder temperatures. In fact, it tastes better the colder it is while it grows. 

Kale comes in two varieties: mature kale, which is often used in soups, sautés, and dried to make chips, and baby kale, which is used in winter salads. Winterbor is a gorgeous and tasty kale that has curled blue-green leaves. It can grow up to 3 feet tall.

Kale grows best in full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. Kale plants that get less than 6 hours of direct sunshine each day will grow less stocky and leafy than those that do.

fresh kale in a vegetable garden

2. Lettuce

Lettuce is undoubtedly one of the best winter vegetables to include in your garden, and you can choose freeze-tolerant varieties.

Minor freeze damage to leafy plants does not render it inedible. Simply cut away the damaged patches and preserve the intact leaf segments, and your lettuce plant will continue to grow.

fresh organic lettuce in the vegetable garden

3. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard not only grows well in hot summer conditions, but it also tolerates and grows in cold winter temperatures. In fact, growing it in cooler temps may improve its flavor. 

Plant chard in early spring and harvest its leaves during the summer. Maintain the plants in the garden through the winter and as they begin to develop again the next spring, you will be able to enjoy early spring and summer greens.

fresh organic rainbow swiss chard

4. Leeks

Leeks are not only tasty, but they are also easy to grow during the winter. They can remain underground during the winter, but they will need protection in freezing temperatures. 

If you live in a colder climate or your area has a colder than normal winter, keep plenty of mulch around your leeks to keep them warm underground.

5. Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are the hardiest of the cabbage plants. Growing them in the winter is common in some areas, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Brussel sprouts thrive in cooler temperatures. Therefore sowing and planting them at the appropriate time is critical.

This plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods but thrives in temperatures ranging from 40 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re tastier and sweeter when exposed to mildly cold temperatures.

freshly harvested brussel sprouts

6. Radish

Radishes are easy to grow, and they grow quickly in cooler temperatures. Winter radishes are planted in late summer. They mature slower than spring radishes, but they grow significantly larger, stay crispy longer, and are overall more aromatic. 

Radishes mature in 8 – 10 weeks and can remain in the ground for as long as you want before the ground freezes. Remember that the hotter the weather, the spicier the radishes, and the colder the weather, the milder the flavor.

7. Carrot

Carrots are also easy to grow in the winter. Winter carrots must be planted in late summer. Planting carrots 60 days before the first freeze ensures that they will mature before the days become shorter in the winter.

Carrots are hardy vegetables that can be grown all winter. As the temperatures grow cooler, the flavor of your carrots will improve. This is because the starches in the carrot change to sugar when it gets cold, making them sweeter. 

fresh carrots ready for harvest
Phillis Butler
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