With the cold weather arriving many people believe they can’t keep their survival garden growing, thus missing benefits that can come from having a winter garden.
There are many healthy plants that can be grown during the cold winter months that actually do quite well in low double digit temperatures.
We’ve discovered 14 vegetables that actually thrive in the cold. Here are some wonderful winter garden vegetables that actually flourish during the cold winter months.
Perpetual spinach, chard, parsley, rocket, lettuce and radishes can all be sown at four week intervals from July onwards for both a winter crop and some seedlings to overwinter for fast take off in spring. Chard is less hardy than perpetual spinach so if you only grow one of them, grow the spinach.
The radish ‘long white icicle’ does well and can be used as a vegetable as well as in salad. It will stand for a long time in winter undercover. A variety of lettuce from Thompson and Morgan called ‘Freckles’ is good for autumn sowing. It is hardier than most and slugs don’t like it. We have kept plants going all winter under bubble wrap in a cold frame.
Land cress and lamb’s lettuce are great for a winter garden and are wonderful, hardy salad crops which will stand outside all winter in pretty much any weather. Leave a plant of each to go to seed and you will have a steady supply of plants at different ages and stages springing up everywhere. Lamb’s lettuce is sown from July onward but you only need to sow it a couple of times, once indoors and once outside, to get a supply for months. It is expensive to buy and you often see it in those bags of ready-washed salad. Land cress can be sown from spring until September, but will stand for months from a single sowing if picked regularly. It has a similar taste and appearance to watercress. As well as using it in salads, make a mineral-rich soup using a watercress soup recipe.
Claytonia is another easy winter salad crop, although it does need a bit of cover. If you have a polytunnel, greenhouse or cold frame it will keep going all winter, and will self seed. Slugs do not bother much with claytonia or with lamb’s lettuce and land cress.
Pak choi, Chinese cabbage and other similar Chinese greens need to be sown after mid July or they will go to seed. They are best in a tunnel or cold frame. Slugs love them so keep an eye out for damage. Garlic can be planted at most times of year but July plantings work well and are ready the following July. We put single cloves back in the ground whenever we harvest some and have it dotted all around the garden, to pull as required. If none is ready, the green tops can be cut and used. Spring cabbage can be used as a cut and come again crop as well for full sized cabbages.
Carrots (stump-rooted) do well on most soil and will stand in the ground for a long time, to pull as needed.
Celery is easy to grow pretty much anywhere. Sow it after mid July for winter crops, or it may to go to seed. There is no need to earth it up.
We have been sowing a culinary celery seed, variety unknown, for several years with great success. It can also be sown in September and the small plants will overwinter and start growing again in the spring.
To see more healthy vegetables that grow well in Winter months along with how to grow, and care for them see the full article at: http://www.Permaculture.co.uk
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