How To Grow Vegetables In Winter
There’s no reason to have an empty vegetable patch in the winter. Many vegetables can be sown in the winter, whilst others can be harvested and enjoyed as part of a hearty winter meal. Here are some tips for growing veggies in the winter.
Choose the right vegetables
Many vegetables aren’t suitable for winter growing, whilst others thrive. If you’re looking for some vegetables to sow in the winter, the likes of onions and shallots are good choices – these vegetables pretty much look after themselves throughout the colder months and should be ready to harvest by summer. Garlic is another suitable vegetable for winter sowing that doesn’t need much looking after. You can also try your hand at planting broad beans, peas, and asparagus, but these plants will generally need a lot more TLC.
As for vegetables that can be harvested in the winter, there are many to choose from. Hardy traditional favourites such as broccoli, sprouts, leeks, and parsnips can be planted in late spring/early summer and will generally survive long into winter where they can be incorporated into a wholesome stew or served with a tasty roast.
Consider using a greenhouse
The biggest problem with growing vegetables over winter is the threat of frost. By growing your vegetables in a backyard greenhouse, you can get around this problem. Greenhouses don’t just keep out the frost, but they also keep your plants protected against excessive rain or harsh wind. You can buy greenhouse kits that are easy to assemble and fairly budget-friendly. It’s best not to go too cheap as some of the low cost greenhouses tend to be fairly flimsy. Whilst you can choose the traditional option of a glass greenhouse, modern synthetic greenhouses tend to be less prone to damage.
Consider using raised beds
If a greenhouse is out of your budget, another option could be to build raised beds to plant your vegetables in. This will reduce the likeliness of frost damage considering that frost tend to collect in the lowest points. Some backyards may naturally have a raised area, which could be ideal for placing a winter vegetable patch.
Consider using cloches
If you’ve already got a vegetable patch and don’t want to fuss around moving it or building a greenhouse, you could always simply use cloches to cover up your vegetables at night. This will stop the frost and snow getting to them, encouraging them to grow healthily. This does require having the discipline to cover up your plants every night and uncover them each morning. You don’t need to cover them up unless the frost is forecasted.
Try mulching the soil
The cold winter temperatures can also reduce soil quality by slowing down biological activity. For this reason, it’s worth adding some mulch to the soil. In the Autumn, it’s worth collecting all the leaves in your garden and mixing these in with these soil – these serve as the perfect winter mulch. You can also try using bark chips and fallen twigs. You can even try chopping up the Christmas tree and using this as mulch.