5 Vegetables You Can Grow Outdoors in Winter - Backyard Boss
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5 Vegetables You Can Grow Outdoors in Winter

All of your hard work in the garden is finally paying off! You can’t believe you managed to get a late summer harvest, but what do you do now? Well, it’s officially winter and it’s time to get those veggies in the ground. Plant one or several vegetables for a fresh and early spring harvest.

What can you grow when the temperatures are freezing, you ask? Check out this list of five vegetables that you can still grow outdoors in winter! With a little planning and preparation, you’ll be harvesting veggies well into the coldest months. Who says winter has to be all about root vegetables? Keep reading to learn more!


various varieties of lettuce growing in a garden
Image credits: Th G via Pixabay

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in cool weather. If sown in October, you can have lettuce ready for harvest by January. Aim to plant your lettuce six weeks before the last frost date where you live.

There are dozens of varieties of lettuce that do well during winter months, although some stand out against the rest. There are four main groups including romaine, crisphead, leaf, and butterhead, however, leaf varieties tolerate the cold better than their cousins.

Sow the seeds directly into the ground or start them indoors first if the temperatures are especially chilly where you live. Just make sure your plants have plenty of sunshine and water, and you’ll be enjoying fresh lettuce all winter long.

Try growing lettuce in raised garden beds or in containers.


Freshly harvested carrots
Image credits: Jonathan Kemper via Unsplash

Carrots are another great winter vegetable to grow outdoors, as they can tolerate cooler temperatures (up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.) In fact, the colder the temperatures, the sweeter the vegetable. The frigid air makes carrots release natural sugars that simultaneously protects it from the cold.

Like lettuce, carrots will thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. You can sow seeds directly in the ground and mulch with a layer of leaves if the weather gets extremely cold in your area.

To make sure your carrots have a long harvest season, stagger the planting times so that there’s always at least one crop of freshly grown carrots on hand!

Fun Fact: You can even grow carrots from carrots!


planting winter garlic with single cloves in autumn in prepared holes
Image credits: S.O.E. via Shutterstock

Garlic is the perfect vegetable to grow outdoors during the winter months, as it requires minimal care and can withstand cold temperatures (0 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.) With its pungent flavor and numerous health benefits, garlic is an excellent addition to any winter garden.

To start your winter garlic garden, you will need to select a suitable location that receives plenty of sunlight. Choose a site with well-draining soil and avoid areas that are prone to standing water or flooding. Next, break up the soil using a digging fork or spade, making sure to remove any large rocks or debris.

Once you have prepared the site, plant individual cloves of garlic 3 to 4 inches apart in loose soil and cover them. Alternatively, you can plant garlic in containers or raised beds for easier maintenance. You can plant them late into November.

Once your winter garlic garden is established, all that is left to do is water it regularly and harvest your crops around June or July. Enjoy fresh and flavorful winter meals using your home-grown garlic, and rest easy knowing that you have added this nutritious vegetable to your winter diet!


Rows of hardy winter leeks with snow on the ground, allium ampeloprasum, in a vegetable garden, variety Musselburgh.
Image credits: Graham Corney via Shutterstock

Leeks are hearty vegetables that are well suited to growing in cold winter climates. Unlike other veggies leeks don’t go dormant during the winter. Instead, they take this time to mature.

To start growing winter leeks you will need a sunny spot with well-draining soil. At the end of fall, plant seeds directly into the prepared garden bed and water regularly. Depending on your climate, leeks should be ready to harvest around 6 to 7 months after planting.

Not all variety of leek is equal in terms of cold hardiness. Choose a darker variety of leek to ensure their survival in low temperatures (5 degrees Fahrenheit.)

So, if you’re looking for an easy and winter-friendly vegetable to grow outdoors, be sure to give leeks a try! With a little bit of care and attention, you’ll be enjoying fresh winter leeks in no time.


Red kale leaves or Russian kale and scissors on wooden background with copy space.
Image credits: yingko via Shutterstock

Kale is a winter vegetable that can be grown both under-cover and outdoors in mild winter regions. Its hardy nature makes it an ideal crop for winter gardens, where it can help add some color and texture to your garden during the cold winter months.

To begin, select a sunny spot in your garden that has well-draining soil. In order to get the most out of your kale plants, it’s important to give them plenty of nutrients and water.

Aim to plant your kale three months prior to your first fall frost date. This iron-rich vegetable will produce new growth at temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once your kale seeds have been planted, be sure to monitor the progress of your plants regularly. Be on the lookout for pests and diseases that may affect your kale plants – common culprits include aphids, cabbageworms, black rot, and beetles.

Kale is at its best when allowed to mature in the frost, which converts its starch into natural sugar. This process makes it even more nutrient-dense and flavorful. It is ready to harvest when the leaves are about the size of your hand. To harvest kale, simply pick a handful of outer leaves from the plant but try not to take more than one-third of it at a time.

Watch What Winter Can Do

See, winter is all about vegetables! There are plenty of delicious choices that you can still grow outdoors in winter. With a little planning and preparation, you’ll be able to harvest fresh veggies well into the coldest months.

Make sure to share this article with your friends and family so they can start planting too! Do you have any tips or tricks for growing winter hardy vegetables? Leave a comment below!