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Vegetables to Grow Outdoors in Winter

Vegetables that can grow outdoors during the winter, plant covered in ice Vegetables that can grow outdoors during the winter, plant covered in ice

For many gardeners winter marks the end of the vegetable growing season. That does not have to be the case. Gardeners can extend their growing season either by using season extenders such as hoop house or green house or by simply selecting vegetables that can grow during the winter.

The ideal year-round gardener would prepare for winter well in advance by planting winter hardy vegetables such as parsnip, kale and carrots during the spring and summer in order to enjoy their harvest during the winter. If you have not done that, it’s okay, there are still things you can plant and grow.

Winter gardening depends on the weather in your specific garden location. Some locations have few or no frost temperatures while other locations can have weeks and even months of below freezing temperatures. This knowledge of the weather in your location should decide whether you can grow outside or grow under protective cover. Check for researched optimal planting dates before planting.

Garlic growing in raised bed

Plant garlic, onions and shallots

Garlic should definitely be on your list of things to plant right now, before winter kicks on. Garlic needs the cold to start its growing process. Onion and shallot sets should also be planted now as well, and will require little or no work as they will literally look after themselves. Keep in mind that onions take time to harvest so you may want to select those varieties with shorter days to maturity.

Spinach growing in the garden


On the outside spinach looks like a delicate leaf but it’s a “tough” plant and a great choice for winter. Select hardy types to ensure that they grow well. Keep in mind that even though the leaves die out in extreme cold, new ones will grow back during the spring. Be sure to remove the flowers to prevent it from running to seed, so that it keeps producing tasty leaves.

Home grown white cabbage


If you can still find cabbage plants in your local garden center or online then you may want to consider buying and planting it now right before winter. If there are days with extreme cold you may need to apply a protective cover to protect the plant. Cabbage will require a little more attention but is still a great winter option. Read more specific information on how to grow cabbage.

Organic lettuce in home garden


With many winter hardy lettuce varieties and short days to harvest lettuce is a great option and will provide throughout the winter. In mild winters can be left outside unprotected, but extreme cold will require protective cover. Read more on how to grow lettuce.

Have a warm and tasty winter.