vegetable gardening

Winter Vegetable Gardening can Expand your Crops and your Hobby

When most people consider gardening, they think primarily about the seasons of spring and summer. However, there are methods that you can employ to expand your planting season into the fall and winter months as well. In fact, winter vegetable gardening can be a great way to bring fresh produce to your dinner table without the high costs of grocery store veggies that are common this time of year. With a little bit of research and planning, you can grow a number of crops right through the winter season.

Which Plants work well in Winter Vegetable Gardening?

Depending on the method that you use for your winter vegetable gardening, and the climate that you live in, there are a number of crops that you can choose from. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and turnips can actually grow quite nicely in colder climates. Root crops like carrots, onions and beets are also good choices for your winter vegetable gardening. What can be better than heading out into the cold to harvest a fresh batch of carrots or onions for your pot of winter stew? Even greens like spinach and lettuce can thrive in colder temperatures, if you take the proper precautions to protect your plants from frost and wind.

Options in Winter Vegetable Gardening

There are a variety of methods that you can use to protect your plants from the coldest and harshest days of winter. First, plan your crops accordingly, keeping in mind that plants that are nearly full grown will be able to withstand the elements much better than younger and smaller plants will. This means that you need to consider the approximate date of the first killing frost in your region, and plant your seeds early enough that your plants will be close to full grown by the time of the frost. You can also use methods to protect your plants from the harshest elements, whether you simply mulch seedlings well or use another type of covering, or you actually build a cold frame that will offer your plants maximum protection during the colder months.

Another option for winter vegetable gardening is to plant your seeds in containers indoors, where you will not have to worry about the elements outside. Just make sure that you use a good potting soil and leave your plants in a bright location where they will receive at least five hours of full sun every day. Homegrown vegetables donít have to be limited to summer harvest. With a little preparation, your winter vegetable garden can continue to bring your family the freshest produce right from your own backyard.


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Gardening Tip #7

Foliage plants usually have high nitrogen needs, while flowering plants, K2O is needed. Slow release fertilizers can be mixed with the compost. However, certain plants like cacti and orchids need special fertilizer. Feed plants during their most active growth period.