The impending arrival of winter is no reason to take a break from your gardening activities—unless you absolutely want to.
Of course, a greenhouse makes it easier to support your growing efforts year-round, but if you choose the right crop—and if your local climate allows—there are even some things you can tend to in outside gardens when the temperature starts to change with the seasons.
It’s important to understand that your plants may have different needs during winter gardening. While they will require less water and less fertilizer, they will still need proper ventilation and sunlight (possibly even a grow light to supplement).
If you do want to enjoy the taste of fresh vegetables and herbs, even through the cold, dreary winter, these are your best-bet cold weather crops to grow:
Kale: In some areas, kale can thrive outside with little protection. Known for being particularly tough and resilient, kale requires full sun or at least partly sunny areas.
Carrots: This vegetable grows quickly and is adept at surviving frost or freezing temperatures. Carrots love the sun and are naturally resistant to pests and disease.
Parsnips: Planted outside or inside a greenhouse, parsnips can be successful almost anywhere. They have a strong resistance to cold, and they are at their best harvested right after a frost.
Garlic: Garlic loves the sun, but it tolerates frosts well. Naturally resilient to insects, the many varieties of garlic are easy to grow and they enjoy a long growing season.
Asparagus: Though it might take a few years to properly establish your asparagus bed, the wait for this fresh homegrown vegetable will be well worth it.
Onions: Onions and shallots are another easy-to-grow cold weather crop. They virtually look after themselves over the winter, and the many varieties available can suit many gardeners’ tastes.
Winter Salads: You can reap the fresh taste of salads all year long by planting and harvesting taste winter salad mixes. Whether you’re looking for crisp or spicy flavor, there is a variety for you.