These 8 frost resistant vegetables are perfect for your fall garden or for an early spring planting.Frosts will actually increase the sugar content, effectively eliminating the bitter taste so often experienced in summer sprouts.In fact, you will find they do best in cool fall weather and are rather disappointing in a summer garden.A very hardy vegetable, kale not only tolerates the cold, but it has no problems with insects like cabbage can have.It can also be an early spring crop if you grow under a row cover or cold frame to protect it from extremes.Late season seedlings can be mulched heavily for the winter when temperatures reach freezing for a nice spring crop.The top leaves will die back if temperatures drop below 10 degrees or so, but the root itself will still be good to eat. .
13 Vegetables For Your Winter Garden That Are More Cold-Hardy
That means no greenhouses, no cold frames—they’ll get through with just a simple low tunnel and a layer of frost cover, if that’s all you have.Now, keep in mind that cold tolerance will depend on your particular climate, including soil conditions, rain, and snow.It overwinters easily in my zone (6b in the Central Oregon high desert) without protection, and bounces back in early spring with renewed vigor.If your goal is to harvest salads all winter long, however, you’ll want to grow spinach under a medium to heavyweight frost cover so it keeps producing.Where kale varieties like Red Russian start to wilt under extreme cold, collards hold steady down to 0°F without so much as a shiver.Overwintering cabbage varieties really shine in the fall garden, as they’re less bothered by pests and their flavor improves with frost.The key to getting cabbage to survive through winter is to start the seeds indoors in early to mid-summer (depending on your climate), then transplant in the garden in late summer.Winter varieties like January King are hardy down to 10°F without protection, but can go even colder if grown under a low tunnel.The remaining crown will overwinter and regrow new leaves in spring, giving you a head start in the garden.Salad burnet isn’t found in most gardens, and when it is, it’s usually a spring herb grown for its fresh, slightly nutty, cucumber-y flavor.But this low-mounding, fern-like green is one of my favorite salad crops in winter because the plants can survive dips down to 0°F, despite their delicate appearance.This leafy green is even more freeze-resistant than salad burnet (it can tolerate temps as low as -20°F) but is adaptable to most climates, as long as it isn’t too hot.You can use a handful of sorrel leaves to perk up a green salad, or wilt it in soups to add a lemony zip.Like all root vegetables, carrots crave chilly weather and accumulate more sugars in response to cold.Not only do these sugars act as a natural “antifreeze” to protect the plant from freeze damage, they turn what’s normally a bland or bitter vegetable in summer into a delectably sweet treat in winter.The carrot tops are cold-hardy down to at least 18°F but the roots can take even colder temps, especially if you pile on a thick layer of straw mulch to insulate them.Turnips aren’t as cold-tolerant as other crops on this list, but it’s worth mentioning because many people are surprised at how different it tastes when grown in winter.Like carrots and other root vegetables, turnips accumulate more sugars the colder it gets, so it loses much of its peppery-ness and bitterness when harvested after a few hard freezes—even when grown to full size.If you want to harvest rutabagas in winter, plant in mid to late summer and let them mature in cold weather, which improves their flavor and texture.In the United States, it feels like parsnips are one of those forgotten root crops that take a distant backseat to carrots.But to make them go the extra mile in your garden, cut down the plants before they flower (right at soil level, leaving the roots underground) and spread the foliage across your bed as mulch.In my experience, the hardiest kale varieties have thick, finely curled leaves, like Vates (which can be left unprotected down to 0°F) and Winterbor (which can survive down to 5°F).Most other varieties (like Red Russian and Lacinato) struggle in zones 7 and below, so they’ll need to be grown under cover. .
Warning: These Vegetables Will Not Survive a Frost
When you know and understand the concept of frost tolerant vegetables you can save yourself from the very traumatic experience of going out to your garden to find a bed full of dead plants.By late May my climate has settled into pretty stable nighttime temperatures and we rarely get a frost after the third week of May.At the end of the summer as fall approaches, the same temperature fluctuations start up again and eventually our first frost will arrive, usually around the beginning of October.If you make this mistake and plant too early you might come out to your garden one morning to find a bunch of dead seedlings that have been killed by cold weather.In contrast, at the end of the season as fall approaches, many of our hot weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are large and robust and are pumping out lots of fruit for our dinner tables.But, as your garden approaches your average first frost date, there’s a high likelihood that a night will arrive where the temperature falls to 32 F.In fact, some of them, like arugula, cilantro, and spinach prefer being planted in early spring because they grow better in cooler weather.Even though these vegetables are frost hardy, you should wait to plant them if a big snowstorm or extremely cold weather is in the forecast.In the fall, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well the frost tolerant vegetables are doing as the nighttime temperatures start decreasing.As you’ll see in the lists below, once the temperatures dip into the lower 20’s and teens F, most of the plants will eventually die without the added protection of row covers, cold frames, and low tunnels.Vegetables that can withstand a light freeze/frost (28—32 F): Bok choy Cauliflower Celery Chinese Cabbage Lettuce (depends on variety) Peas. .
Growing Kale in Winter: Making the Most of this Cold-Hardy
Growing kale in winter is a great way to keep a source of leafy greens all year.Kale (Brassica oleracea) belongs to the same family which includes cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and mustard plants.Like the old fable of the grasshopper and the ant, doing a bit of extra work lets you reap the benefits of fresh kale to brighten the cold winter months.Other vegetables that belong to this exclusive cold-resistant club include: beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collards, kohlrabi, parsley, spinach, garlic, leeks, radish, mustard, and turnip.Here’s a fun fact: vegetables that are red or purple contain a pigment called anthocyanin which makes them more resistant to rotting in winter.True Siberian: With its large, frilly, blue-green leaves, this variety is quick to grow, and can often be harvested all winter in milder climates.With flat green leaves and purple-y stems and veins, the color and taste improves with some frost.Scarlet Kale: This is a variety that truly blossoms when temperatures drop, with its red leaves deepening, and its flavor turning sweeter.The best time to plant kale for a winter harvest is between late July or August (once the scorching heat has passed), to September (in warmer climates).If planting outdoors, it’s especially important to pick a spot that receives enough sunlight, between 6-8 hours a day.Depending on the variety, kale plants are ready to harvest in 55 to 75 days if grown from seed (less if you’re working with a transplant).Depending on your weather conditions, you may need to protect your kale from harsh elements by keeping them in a low tunnel (with metal hoops and plastic sheeting), or some other shelter of blankets and covers.When spring rolls around, hopefully your kale has survived the winter and will begin producing leaves at a faster rate.If you live in a cold climate like myself where temperatures can dip to 40 below, you’re confined to growing kale indoors.The most important factor in successful indoor winter growing is access to adequate sunlight. .
Winter Kill Temperatures of Winter-Hardy Vegetables 2016
For several years, 2015, 2104, 2013, 2012 my friend and neighboring grower Ken Bezilla of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and I have been keeping records of how well our crops do in the colder season.It’s worth noting that in a hoophouse plants can tolerate lower temperatures than those listed here: they have the pleasant daytime conditions in which to recover.25°F (-4°C): Chervil, chicory roots for chicons, and hearts, Chinese Napa cabbage (Blues), dill, endive (hardier than lettuce, Escarole more frost-hardy than Frisée), annual fennel, some mustards and Asian greens (Maruba Santoh, Mizuna, most Pak Choy, Tokyo Bekana), onion scallions (some much more hardy), radicchio.15°F (-9.5°C): Some beets (Albina Verduna, Lutz Winterkeeper), beet leaves, some cabbage (Kaitlin, Tribute), celery (Ventura) with rowcover, cilantro, endive, fava beans (Aquadulce Claudia), Russian kales, kohlrabi, some lettuce, especially medium-sized plants (Marvel of Four Seasons, Olga, Rouge d’hiver, Tango, Winter Density), curly leaf parsley, flat leaf parsley, large leaves of broad leaf sorrel, turnip leaves, winter cress.12°F (-11°C): Some beets (Cylindra,), some cabbage (January King, Savoy types), carrots (Danvers, Oxheart), most collards, some fava beans (not the best flavored ones), garlic tops if fairly large, most fall or summer varieties of leeks (Lincoln, King Richard), large tops of potato onions, rutabagas (if mulched), Senposai leaves (the core of the plant may survive 10F), some turnips (Purple Top), winter radish including daikon (may survive colder).10°F (-12°C): Beets with rowcover, Purple Sprouting broccoli for spring harvest, Brussels sprouts, chard (green chard is hardier than multi-colored types), a few varieties of cabbage (Deadon), some collards (Morris Heading can survive at least one night at 10F), Belle Isle upland cress, some endive (Perfect, President), young stalks of Bronze fennel, probably Komatsuna, some leeks (American Flag, Jaune du Poiteau), some head lettuce under row cover (Pirat, Red Salad Bowl, Salad Bowl, Sylvesta, Winter Marvel), large leaves of savoyed spinach (more hardy than flat leafed varieties), Tatsoi, Yukina Savoy.0°F (-18°C): Chives, some collards (Blue Max, Winner), corn salad (mache), garlic, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, a few leeks (Alaska, Durabel); some bulb onions, some onion scallions (Evergreen Winter Hardy White, White Lisbon), parsnips (probably even colder), salad burnet, salsify, some spinach (Bloomsdale Savoy, Olympia, Tyee).Austrian Winter Field Peas and Crimson clover (used as cover crops) are hardy down to -10°F (-23°C). .
Snow Tolerant Vegetables
If plant cell damaging freezing temperatures accompany snow, protect crops with mulch, plastic tunnels, or cold frames.Crops that can survive under snow—but not sustained freezing temperatures or ice–include asparagus, rhubarb, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cress, rutabaga, spinach, endive, horseradish, kohlrabi, kale, leek lettuce, onions, parsley, parsnips, radishes, and turnips. .
Best Kale for Cold Weather and Chilly Climates
It thrives in cool temps, and usually stops producing its best flavors once the weather turns hot.They give home growers a few more weeks to harvest fresh leaves, and get more greens into their fall and winter diets.Just because a kale is categorized as “wintry weather resistant” doesn’t mean you can just let them languish during the freeze.Daylight hours are limited in the colder months and kale loves its sunlight.If you prefer a more permanent structure, row covers or a small hoop house made from PVC and plastic sheeting will work as well.States with seasons that are extremely hot may find that they have fewer spring and summer weeks to grow their kales.By planting in late fall for a winter harvest, however, any of these hearty cold-weather breeds will offer a second chance! .
Can I harvest garden vegetables after a frost?
There are many vegetables and fruit that must be picked and dealt with almost immediately or they will lose quality, such as tomatoes, which must be eaten or processed.Warm season vegetables will not survive even a light frost because they get partially or totally frozen and decay begins almost immediately.Michigan State Extension offers the following suggestions on how to get more mileage out of your garden’s root crops and greens.Root crops like carrots, turnips, beets, rutabagas and parsnips can remain in the garden after a frost and still be removed in good condition later, but get them dug and stored before the ground freezes.If potatoes remain on the soil surface in the sun, they start turning green.So dig and remove the potatoes to a dry, warm area out of the sun to begin the process of letting the skin toughen up for storage.Add some shredded carrots or sweet peppers for a colorful side dish.Smart gardeners know the satisfaction of eating and enjoying the products of their summer’s work. .
Protect Your Veggies from Freezing! Cover and tuck 'em in!
Chilly 2012 Winter Solstice morning, Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden, Santa Barbara CA.Cool season crops , such as broccoli, cabbage, peas, and onions, originated in northern areas, and can tolerate frost and light freezes of short durations with little damage, plant cold hardy varieties.But other tender morsels often die literal black deaths from killing freezes., such as broccoli, cabbage, peas, and onions, originated in northern areas, and can tolerate frost and light freezes of short durations with little damage, plant cold hardy varieties.But other tender morsels often die literal black deaths from killing freezes.Cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor when they mature during cool weather.They react to cold conditions and frost by producing sugars, making them taste sweet, especially Brussels sprouts and kale, but also parsnips and leeks!Cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor when they mature during cool weather.They react to cold conditions and frost by producing sugars, making them taste sweet, especially Brussels sprouts and kale, but also parsnips and leeks!When there are several days at low temps , cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) and onion sets, produce a seed stalk, called bolting.Unless you want to save seeds, at that point, harvest good leaves for greens, give the remaining plant to your compost., cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) and onion sets, produce a seed stalk, called Unless you want to save seeds, at that point, harvest good leaves for greens, give the remaining plant to your compost.The upper part of a plant may die, but the roots may be strong enough to push up new growth!The upper part of a plant may die, but the roots may be strong enough to push up new growth!Move frost tender plants under eaves, a spreading tree, into greenhouses, garage.Haunt yard sales, the thrift shop, for old bed sheets, blankets, tablecloths, curtains, towels, shower curtains, burlap sacks, tarps – many end their lives covering garden plants for frost protection!The beauty of floating row covers (see image), also called frost or winter blankets, is they can be left in place during the day!The beauty of (see image), also called frost or winter blankets, is they can be left in place during the day!Root crops such as carrots and radishes should be harvested or mulched heavily before a hard freeze.Should you trim the ugly damaged stuff off and give your plant a lot of fertilizer to help it?If you trim and add a lot of fertilizer, tender new growth will form, and that will be toast if there is another frost or freeze.Better to have a yard full of ghosts (sheet covers) and look silly, than lose your plants.Watch WEATHER reports in case of freezes, heavy winds, rain.That can vary from the coastal areas to the foothills, and our climate is changing generally to warmer, so these dates may not be viable guides much longer, if even now….The Green Bean Connection started as correspondence for the Santa Barbara CA USA Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden.During late spring/summer we are often in a fog belt/marine layer most years, locally referred to as the May grays, June glooms and August fogusts. .
Growing Kale in Winter: How to Plant, Grow, and Protect Kale
We harvest a handful of hardy kale varieties throughout the winter months for salads, chips, smoothies, and soups.Depending where you live, winter kale can be left in the open garden or grown in a season extender like a cold frame, mini hoop tunnel, or greenhouse.Finally, kale is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in garden beds and containers and thrives with little fussing.It’s therefore important when growing kale in winter to plant at the right time so that your crop is the proper size when the days get dark and cold.These plants provide us with plenty of tender kale leaves from mid-spring through late autumn, and into the winter months if they’re protected with season extenders.The advantage of letting spring kale stay in the garden all season long is that by late autumn the plants have sized up nicely and are packed with leaves.These plants provide us with plenty of tender kale leaves from mid-spring through late autumn, and into the winter months if they’re protected with season extenders.The advantage of letting spring kale stay in the garden all season long is that by late autumn the plants have sized up nicely and are packed with leaves.I typically transplant 3 to 4 week old kale seedlings in my raised beds in July for winter harvests.I typically transplant 3 to 4 week old kale seedlings in my raised beds in July for winter harvests.It’s quick and easy to grow and most varieties only need 4 to 5 weeks to yield a dense crop of immature leaves.Drought stressed plants tend to be bitter, so water often if the summer or autumn weather has been dry.I’ve plucked cabbage worms as late as November from my kale plants in my zone 5B garden.My container grown kale plants die back by early January unless they’re wintered over inside my polytunnel.If you have a greenhouse, polytunnel, or other protective structure you can winter potted kale inside to extend the harvest.It’s a handy structure in a home garden and can be used in spring, autumn, and winter to extend the harvest by weeks or months, depending on the crop.Cold frames typically have a low profile and I use them to grow compact varieties like dwarf blue curled scotch or baby kale.This miniature greenhouse is ideal for protecting tall, mature kale plants like Winterbor or Redbor in winter.Discover just how versatile these structures are in my online course, How to Build & Use Mini Hoop Tunnels in the Vegetable Garden,.I direct sow or transplant the seedlings during the growing season into the raised beds inside my tunnel.Baby kale is quick to go from seed to harvest and you can expect to start picking tender leaves just 5 weeks from planting.The mature plants grow up to 18 inches tall and form dense, attractive rosettes packed with the curly leaves.The stem color matches the leaves making this a stunning choice for food or flower gardens.This compact variety grows 16 inches tall and wide and produces a heavy crop of large, lightly curled leaves.The stocky plants form wide rosettes packed with leaves for winter soups, pastas, smoothies, or kale chips.The finely curled foliage is tender and mild-flavored, and cold hardy enough to persist all winter long under a season extender.It’s more cold hardy than lacinato kale and adds bold late season color to the food or flower garden.Pick up a bundle of kale seeds for a mixture of leaf textures and colours in your winter garden. .