When most people think about vegetable gardens, they think about the summer variety that produces tomatoes, zucchini and peppers. However, winter vegetable gardens can provide you with an abundance of tasty crop as well. Winter garden vegetables can tolerate frost and cold weather. Planted in late summer, they spend all fall growing and developing their flavors, greeting the gardener in the winter with a bevy of veggies. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of having a winter vegetable gardener is deciding which plants to grow.
According to the Washington State University Extension, kale can be grown successfully in winter gardens. Kale is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh conditions, though blue kale may turn yellow if subjected to lots of frost. Not only are the kale leaves edible, but the flower shoots they produce in spring can be eaten, as well.
Parsnips thrive on cold temperatures. In fact, the chill actually brings out their flavor and sweetness, suggests the Veggie Gardening Tips website. When planted in early spring, parsnips will survive during the winter and produce crops until the following spring.
Like the parsnips, Brussels sprouts prefer the cold weather and become tastier when exposed to the chill. Brussels sprouts become sweeter and have more flavor when subjected to cold weather; however, they should be harvested before frost sets in, as they can become damaged if exposed to that element.
A variety of lettuce can be grown in a winter vegetable garden, including lamb’s lettuce and winter lettuce. Leafy vegetables enjoys the cool fall temperatures and can be planted in late summer for autumn harvest.
Broccoli is a hardy vegetable that can tolerate cold temperatures. If planted in late summer, broccoli will usually be present around Thanksgiving and even last until Christmas, according to the Washington State University Extension. Purple or Italian sprouting broccoli can be planted in the winter and produce crop in the spring.
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