Winter Gardening in the US

For many gardeners, the onset of winter brings their endeavors to a screeching halt. While relying on winter staples, hardy root vegetables such as Potatoes or Squashes, most gardens are left relatively untouched. However, winter doesn’t have to bring about the end of harvesting fresh, delicious crops to eat. There are several crop varieties that can survive winter in any of the United States. Even in the northern States, there are enough hours of sunlight to grow an array of crops.

Benefits of Winter Gardening

The obvious advantage is that you’ll be able to enjoy freshly harvested vegetables to suit your palate. No longer will you be limited to the scrag ends available at the farmers’ market, or the imported “perfect” vegetables from the supermarket. From a gardener’s point of view winter gardening is ideal for the following reasons:

  • Very few weeds.
  • Slow, easy going pace.
  • Less need to water plants.
  • Opportunity to grow crops you may not have considered before.

Indeed, winter gardening can be fairly easy with regards to the workload. It’s important to keep a good amount of compost on hand to give your crops a boost when they need it. They will also require a measure of protection.

Protecting Your Crops

There are several ways that crops can be protected over winter. More often than not, you need only to provide a little insulation and cover to ensure your crops will survive.

Straw is one of the oldest insulators known to man and has been used in this capacity for centuries. Cover your crops with a good amount of straw or mulch to keep the harshest chill off, or create a cold frame from straw bales. Greenhouses are a fantastic investment and will enable you to grow crops whatever the weather, but for a more affordable option, create low tunnels that run over your crops. Clear plastic sheeting over a bent pipe frame is a simple and cost effective means of creating these.

Great Winter Crops

The following crops thrive over winter:

  • Space Spinach;
  • Lexton Leeks;
  • True Siberian Kale;
  • Napoli Carrots;
  • Astro Arugula;
  • Vit Mâche.