So, Ned Stark was right. The winter is coming. But, what Ned didn’t know is that there are plants and vegetables that you can grow even when the snow falls.
Although the majority of plants are going dormitory during winter, you can “trick” them into thinking that it is May and that they are spending a beautiful spring day somewhere outside.
Conditions are important, there is no doubt, but more important are species which can withstand all-year growing. Keep reading to find out what those species are. The main reason why I have tried (and succeeded) in this field is that if you ask me, nothing can replace fresh vegetable.
Some of the plants listed here have other beneficial attributes, but all of them are sharing a common goal, and that is to resist the winter depression.
Very convenient to grow indoors, potatoes have high nutrient value and are considered as easy to maintain. I’ve noticed that the easiest way to have a fresh supply of those is to take a burlap bag, fill it up with a mixture of compost and soil, and plant the seed.
Put it somewhere where there will be about five to six hours of sunlight during the day, which means the beginning or the end of winter.
The good thing about using the bag is that you can roll it up or down, in case that you need to add more of the soil. Having fried baby spuds while it is snowing outside is something you must experience. The price of this food can leap during winter, and you could try and grow it yourself instead.
Sown somewhere in early winter, beans can be put into a plastic container and left somewhere sunny and watered regularly. The amount of sunlight is not as much important so that beans can be grown throughout the whole winter.
The good rule of thumb is to use bush varieties, so you don’t need to make them a pole to climb onto. Also, this type of beans have higher crop rate and will occupy around the square foot of space.
On the other hand, if you have tight containers, you could try pole variety. Just make sure that it doesn’t climb the curtain, and that you have thinned them out once the sprouts appear, so they will not suffocate each other.
Similarly to beans, peas require sunlight but are not overly fond of too hot weather. Therefore, they are perfect for windowsill or pot planting.
They will too need around five to six hours of daylight, so you should plan to plant them before the end of November, or after the end of January. In the period between daytime lasts only about 7-8 hours, and there will be not enough of the sun for peas to grow properly.
Also, my recommendation is to pick the variety with an edible pod, so you’ll maximize the crop. And, there are tons of recipes which are utilizing this type of vegetable.
Whether you are starting to grow tomatoes from the seed or sprout, it doesn’t matter. I’ve tried both of the approaches, and somehow I find that seeds are a better option, because I was able to plan better and to choose specifically the type I wanted. Tomatoes can be grown throughout the year, and you just need to keep them happy, watered and under the sunlight.
As for the variety, you can choose bigger ones, but once they grow too large, transferring them to a bucket or larger pot will be required. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, are better suited for small pots and bags, because their stalk is shorter, and will occupy less space. Fresh cherry tomatoes salad in January? Surely, you must try it.
Shallow-growing veggie which can be put into a pot, lettuce love and thrive in sunlight, so you will need to provide a lot of it.
The cross between autumn and winter, as well as between winter and spring are ideal for this. Winter is a great season for this vegetable because lettuce does not like hot and warm soil, so it is not necessary of balancing that.
Once the seed is planted, the plant will fully grow in about 40 days. My recommendation is not to wait that long, because it can be a bit bitter, thus spoiling the taste. As for the appliance, have you tried an Iceberg salad? No? What are you waiting for?
One letter separates this plant from being a whiskey brand, but still, it does an excellent job regarding flavor. Those resistant and durable little guys will endure the cold of the fall, but the winter could be fatal for them.
It is said that once the cold wind blows, the lone chives die, but the bush survives (another Game of Thrones reference). Therefore, once the weather got too cold, I have brought the pot inside, to have a fresh supply of spices for cooking.
This plant is known to grow in numbers in time, so I had to snip off several leaves a day. Just be careful not to overwater them, because they love well-drained soil.
This is not a particular type of plant, but rather an alternative approach to feeding habits. Sprouts, as the name suggests, are small plants which are eaten whole. Since the plants are at the beginning of their life cycle, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and oils, while their stems remain crunchy and fresh. To make them sprout faster, I’ve looked after the sunlight and provided at least 5-6 hours a day after first leaves appear.
To make things interesting, make a mixture of seeds of different kinds. I suggest sunflower, mustard, flax, lentil, and any salad-used plants. Then, I have planted the mix in the richly manured soil in a pot. After that, I’ve put it in dark and warm place and watered lightly for 3-4 days.
Once the cotyledon leaves are developed, it is ripe for eating. This type of foodstuff is also beneficial because during winter many types of germs are on a spree, and you need to boost your immunity.
Basements are not reserved just for horror movies jumpscares. Have you considered planting mushrooms? In case that you are not afraid to go downstairs, you can take a crate, fill it with quality soil and plant mushrooms.
They do not require sunlight, but the temperature inside should be around 23-25 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, in my town winters are relentless, and I had to move my precious mushrooms upstairs. If this is your case as well, I suggest you to put it in a cupboard where it will be warm, but still in the dark. Watering can be somewhat tricky, but nothing to be afraid of.
Bring the whim of the Mediterranean Sea into your kitchen and consider growing arugula indoors during winter. When grown outside, long sprouting leaves of this plant are announcing the upcoming of warmer weather.
To prevent the cycle of growing to go too fast, put the pot somewhere not too hot (try saying this three times fast), but with a lot of sunlight. The longest days (November and the end of February) should be the time when the plants are fully grown.
This plant, as well as the chives, grows in numbers the more you are thinning it out, so cutting off leaves is mandatory to keep it going and growing. Moreover, I’m sure that you will fall in love as I am with this plant, so salads with this ingredient will often be at your table. Of course, do not water it too much, but rather often, in smaller quantities, since it prefers moist but drained soil.
10. Swiss Chard
This unusual plant will do more than just pose as the supply of food. Its wide variety of colors will keep the spirit of spring throughout the whole year. The watering is not such complicated, just maintain the soil moist by sprinkling water occasionally, and make sure that it has 4-5 hours of sunlight during the day, so it is suited for any month during winter, as long as it is by the window.
Since it will grow a bit smaller in the pot, you can use younger leaves in salads, and the older ones can be steam boiled, mixed with cooked potato cut in cubes, salted and served with fish (my mother’s recipe). This meal is great during fasting season, which is mostly during winter.
If radish were a guy from the movies, its motto would be “Live fast and die young.” Indeed, this plant grows in a matter of weeks, so planting a batch of radishes each week will keep you supplied in the longer run. Still, they do not require much care. It is enough to plant the seed 5” deep, water it regularly and cover it with paper.
Once leaves appear, remove the paper and move the pot to a sunnier place. Keep track of the thickness of the plants, and if you see that space is becoming crowded, thin them out a bit. In around three weeks you will have it on your table. It is ideal for salads and sandwiches, but its spicy taste can be a bit inconvenient side effect.
Not to be mixed with the sport of the same name, this plant is perfect for growing throughout the winter, and the whole year. The abundance of recipes which are utilizing zucchini is amazing, so you will not think twice about how to cook and prepare them.
They are a bit tricky, however, because they are among deep-rooted plants, so bigger container is a must. Also, if you make a mistake as I have, and plant just any kind of squash, you will end up in a mini-jungle, because developed leaves are enormous and cover a large area.
Pick those who are growing in bushes rather, and just two plants will keep you well-supplied of this marvelous fruit (not a mistake, not all vegetables are what they seem).
Having a few leaves of this aromatic plant in a meal from time to time can be quite refreshing (pun intended). Also, there are few things better than fresh mint tea while it is snowing outside. Although it is usually grown in a pot, proper care must be taken care of, so that it will continue to grow.
The watering of mint should be light, but more or less frequent. It prefers moist ground, so making a damp in your pot is out of the question. It does not love too much sun, and the shade is far best for it, so I’ve put it on a windowsill and blocked the sunlight with the curtains, at least during late fall and early spring, when days are longer and have more light in general. This way it stayed close at hand and made my kitchen smell wonderful.
Those aromatic plants are very susceptible to cold, so I had to keep them close to my living quarters. To keep them progressing, I had to provide sandy soil and a lot of sunshine as well. The amount of sun was somewhat scarce during December and January, and neither February had enough of it, so it is best to plant them late in autumn so that they can grow until this “darker” months.
Of course, this is paid off by the pleasant aroma of their leaves, because they are unavoidable when it comes to meat and barbecue. My personal favorite is to make a marinade of rosemary branches, oil, and spices and leave it to sit overnight.
Then, by using the branch as a brush, I’ve soaked the meat while it is on the grill. This way the spices and the aroma of rosemary are leaving but a whim, without killing of the scent of the meat.
15. Chili Peppers
Those guys may be small, but they pack a punch. This type of peppers requires a lot of sunlight and moderate watering. Therefore, I have planted them in late fall, used remaining sunlight and nice weather, and took them inside once it became too cold for them.
The amount of water dictates the strength of the taste, so if you prefer stronger “kick,” keep the water supply at a minimum. Also, they have moderately sensitive leaves which can be harmed by cold, so keeping them out of draft might save you the trouble.
So, there is my list. I surely hope that these 15 organic vegetables you can grow in winter will keep you happy and occupied and that your effort will be rewarded.
There are also several other things to look after when planting the vegetables for winter:
- The pot should provide enough room for all the plants
- Sunlight is critical for some of the plants, and in case that you are uncertain how much daytime you will have, there is a chart for this
- pH value of the soil is also important, keeping track of this can make a difference between success and no fruit at all