We all think that spring and summer are the only seasons which provide an adequately healthy environment for the growth of plants—poor winter is always lurking in the shadows and ignored.
Much of our misconception is associated with philosophical connotations we tend to attach to spring and summer as the seasons of hope and warmth. Winter is as great as they are but is neglected because it is ‘cold’.
Winter is a great season to grow a lot of plants. We, for this article, will talk about vegetables that can be grown quite conveniently in winters.
Now, let us take a look at seven vegetables you can grow and harvest in winters:
Cauliflower grows marvellously in a nitrogen and potassium rich soil blessed with adequate moisture. There are many varieties which can be grown, but the most recommended ones are Aalsmeer and Mayflower.
Watch out for flower buds which are compactly closed and cut them off from below the head. In case you experience an unforeseen frost overnight prior to harvesting, the heads will be all right if you cut them off frozen and utilise them then and there without any delay.
One of the hardest vegetables on this planet, Brussels sprouts belong to the popular cabbage family. They grow in winter and become healthier as the winter becomes stronger.
It is recommended that you harvest the matured sprouts before the freezing of the ground. If, however, you experience moderate winters, the growth of the sprouts may be staggering.
Anyway, these vegetables do not require much help to grow up.
A distant relative of the sunflowers, Jerusalem artichoke thrives when winter is close by. The edible part of the vegetable is a tuber that grows beneath the ground, and thus, it is protected from the harshness of winter.
When fall comes, the artichoke’s leaves will become yellow, indicating maturation of the plant. Take the cue and prune these leaves to about 3 inches long, but make sure to put the cuttings over for giving an insulating effect.
Winter squash features really thick skins allowing them to grow without much difficulty in winter conditions. The skin effectively protects the delicate flesh inside from getting frozen. Also, it enables storage, increasing the plant’s resistance against cold and dry conditions.
There are a number of varieties available such as Butternut, Blue Hokkaido, Acorn, and Hubbard. These are all heavy feeders, and hence, require a huge amount of soil nutrients. So, while planting, add compost and mulch crops.
Winter squash may be tough, but its growing years require too much attention from gardeners.
Parsnips grow for a long time, and so, you should plant seeds in spring to allow the crop utmost time for maturation. They do not need as many nutrients as other vegetables do for survival, and you should refrain from adding fresh manure in the parsnips garden beds.
Parsnips grow best when given experience of near-freezing temperatures, as this leads to the transformation of starch into sugar, generating flavour.
In case you are wondering what varieties you should plant, we advise you to go for Cobham and Guerney.
Nobody can deny the health benefits leeks have for the human body, and that is why you should grow them in your garden.
Leeks are perfect winter crops since they can survive the ravages of winter without much difficulty. The good part about leeks is that they can be conveniently harvested anytime in winter.
All of this may sound amazing, but leeks require care and attention too. In order to produce healthy leeks, prevent the bed where leeks are planted from getting frozen—adding mulch will help a great deal in doing that.
Varieties are many, but the best ones are Blue Solaise and American Flag since they have shorter leaves and thicker stems enabling them to survive for a longer duration.
Without a doubt, leeks are the most convenient vegetables ever.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that grows wonderfully in winter, and a little bit of frost makes it tastier. It prefers alkaline soil and plenty of moisture to grow, and therefore, you will have to regularly water it.
Harvest Kale when they are about 8 inches long. You can take leaves or the entire plant, whatever suits you better. What is great about this plant is that if you leave behind the rootstock in the soil, there will be new growth in a few weeks.
It is recommended you grow Squire and Tuscan varieties.