Winter Gardening. Cold Weather Vegetables you should start Now!

Jul. 26, 2013

Winter Gardening? whats THAT?
I was totally intrigued the first time I heard the term. Certainly you cannot do that here. Winters are COLD in Chicago, much too cold to grow anything… but IS it?

Did you know that some cold weather vegetables will grow in as little as 26 degrees. right? If you’re as thrilled as I was to hear this, its time to get out there and start your winter garden now.

You can start seeds right now, of beets, carrots, radish, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale and many more cold weather vegetables. Heres a list of cold weather vegetables that I made for the nursery website.
winter-gardening-cold-weather-vegetables

IF you dont have a ton of space, or if you want a convenient way to start right now, without all the digging, you can start your winter gardening project in a square foot garden. Build a 4×4′ box, add soil, divide it into square foot sections, and throw in your seeds. Here’s a square foot gardening layout chart that I created. Substitute the warm weather plants for cold weather vegetables and you’re good to go! You can read more about square foot gardening here.

square-foot-gardening-layout-companion-plants

If you’re SUPER interested in winter gardening and want to learn all about it, Eliot Coleman wrote a fantastic book on the subject called The Winter Harvest Handbook. Eliot is a commercial winter farmer who supplies local restaurants with winter vegetables, so he knows his stuff. His secret to extending his growing season are double coldframes…
winter-gardening-cold-weather-vegetables-coldframes

Last but not least, my favorite. Garlic! You still have time with an October sow date, so its just a reminder. Heres how to grow garlic.
winter gardening garlic



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2 Responses to “Winter Gardening. Cold Weather Vegetables you should start Now!”

  1. […] us gardeners. August 1st is a good marker to start the fall garden vegetables. There are a ton of cold weather vegetables hardy enough to withstand frost and keep you eating healthy into the […]

  2. Wonderlawn says:

    Carrots are a great vegetable to grow in colder conditions. Making use of them is really rewarding.

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