It’s time to shake the idea that winter is strictly a time of death for your garden. A few hearty vegetables are able to grow in the winter soil and peek their shoots out during the cold months. Having vegetables in your garden in February and March is a great way to force yourself into the fresh – albeit freezing! – air and get a bit of exercise in your garden. To achieve this growth, now is the time to start planting! Here are a few vegetables that grow well through the British winter.
For a lush, homegrown salad, plant winter lettuce starting in August. “Winter Density,” “Niche Mixed,” and “Winter Gem” are all lettuce varieties that do great during the colder months in the UK. The lettuce can be planted up until late November and harvested beginning in January. With just a bit of frost protection, you’ll have green produce growing bountifully in your garden.
Spinach is another great salad vegetable and grows heartily in cold weather. Spinach can be planted in late summer to harvest in autumn, or in autumn to be harvested in winter. Like lettuce, it only needs a light protection – straw will work great.
Asparagus plants actually thrive in cold climates – hot, humid areas don’t get the luxury of this veggie! Look for a variety that plants in the autumn. The seeds will be in the soil during freezes and grow in the spring. An added bonus is that asparagus is a perennial vegetable.
Surprisingly, garlic should be planted after the first major frost. If your area is very cold – if snow is a possibility – you will need to put straw over the soil. Otherwise, you should have garlic shoots in the early spring, and with little effort on your part.
Because autumn soil is often warmer than spring soil, this makes it an optimal time to plant many trees. The trick is to get the plant into the ground early enough that a strong root system is able to develop. If root systems develop, they will actively store nutrients during the dormant, cold months and grow well in the spring.
Liz Childers writes about picnic backpacks for Picnic World and Buck Knives for Knife Depot.