3 Easy Ways to Grow Winter Vegetables

This is not the best way to grow winter vegetables.

This is not the best way to grow winter vegetables.

 

Continuing where we left off last time, let’s discuss the best ways to grow winter vegetables.  The key to winter growing is to protect your plants from the elements of wind, cold and snow.  For the beginner, I would start with one of three easy and inexpensive styles: indoor container garden, outdoor gardening using cloches and/or natural protection, or the use of a simple cold frame.  If you plan to grow outdoors, look for areas against a south facing wall in order to protect your sensitive plants and to ensure the plants receive sufficient sun.  Other methods would be indoor growing using grow lamps or outdoors using a green house.  Pros and cons of each method are noted below:

Outdoor Garden Using Cloches: A cloche is “like” a portable greenhouse, an individual clear plastic covering over each plant.  Examples of a cloche would be the bottom of a 2 liter soda bottle or a strip of plastic tarp staked over the plant.

Outdoor Garden Using a Cold Frame:  A cold frame is a transparent, enclosed box used to protect sensitive plants from the elements, particularly cold, wet and wind.  Cold frames are easy to construct, and there are many designs that can be found on the internet.

Indoor Container Gardening: I enjoy creating an indoor container garden in the winter.  We are blessed to have large, east facing windows that get plenty of morning sun.  I use wooden planter boxes, floor planters, wall planters and hanging planters to grow a cornucopia of fresh produce.

In our next installment, we will further discuss the types of planters and how we go about growing winter vegetables.

I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment below and let us know your plan for growing winter vegetables.

3 Reasons to Start a Winter Vegetable Garden

 

Using a Cold Frame to Grow a Winter Vegetable Garden

Cold Frame in the Snow

Just because the weather is cold and the days are short doesn’t mean you have to give up on fresh vegetables from your garden. With a bit of planning and effort, a homegrown salad is available year round. Crisp lettuce, sweet carrots, hot peppers and sharp radishes can be at your fingertips, Going into the holidays, a winter vegetable garden is a perfect addition to any household. Many vegetables grow, even thrive, in cooler winter temperatures. A wide variety of vegetables are available, even in the northernmost areas of the U.S.

Eat Healthy: Unless you live in a south or west, the “fresh” vegetables you find in the grocery store have either been stored for months or have been trucked from far flung locales. Winter farming in the U.S. occurs in California and south Texas. Winter produce is frequently imported from Mexico and South America. If you grow your own, you can be assured that your vegetables are safe and organic, free of pesticides and chemicals. Vegetables concentrate their sugars in cooler weather, resulting in better flavor for winter grown vegetables.

Save Money: According to the Wall Street Journal, families that have a vegetable garden spend an average of $70 a year and grow an estimated $600 worth of vegetables. While this survey was prepared assuming a warm weather garden, it’s conceivable to increase your savings by $300 with a minimal increase in cost.

Less Work: Because plants are less active in the winter, they require less water.  There are fewer weeds and fewer pests to deal with. Cooler soil also serves as a root cellar, allowing you to harvest carrots and beets when you need them.

In our next article, we will discuss the best ways to start a winter vegetable garden.

I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment below and let us know the plan for your winter vegetable garden.

Welcome to The Gardener of Urban

Welcome to the official blog of The Gardener of Urban.  We will post urban gardening and small space gardening tips, trends and product reviews.  You will also be the first to hear about product releases and flash sales.  Look for us every Tuesday and Friday as showcase how-to’s, design ideas and successful gardeners throughout the world.  I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I will.