Top 17 Winter Vegetables to Grow in The Garden (With Pictures)

Winter vegetables are an excellent way to enjoy fresh veggies from your garden all year. Kale, carrots, parsnips, and broccoli are just a few of the vegetables that can be grown in the winter. Winter vegetables, on the other hand, may tolerate severe frosts with some protection. You may expect to get a lot of healthy winter produce if you plant certain veggies in late summer or autumn.

Finding cold-tolerant root vegetables and winter greens is one of the challenges of growing vegetables in the winter. Additionally, since shorter days and less sunlight are required for winter vegetables to thrive, sunshine might be a concern. You can, nevertheless, have a successful winter vegetable garden if you plan ahead and organize yourself.

This article will teach you how to grow and maintain a winter vegetable garden. When to plant which veggies, when the best harvesting time is, and how long they will last in the freezer will all be revealed.

How to Grow the Best Vegetables for Winter

The USDA zone, frost protection, and sunlight are the three factors that should be taken into account when growing cold-weather vegetables. From November through March, winter vegetables are ideal for harvesting. You must, however, understand about selecting the finest late-season crops for your winter vegetable patch if you want to harvest winter greens and root veggies.

USDA zones 5 through 7 are good places to plant winter vegetables during the cold season. Winter temperatures in the northernmost zones, such as zone 5, may fall to -20°F (-28°C). In freezing weather, frost-hardy vegetables often need additional protection. Some hardy vegetables flourish in zones 6 and 7 without requiring any winter protection.

The temperatures determine the quantity of frost protection required for cold-weather greens. To protect plants from harsh frost, all you may need is a fleece tunnel with a fabric row cover or winter vegetables. To grow the hardiest winter crops, such as kale, collards, carrots, and spinach, you’ll need to use cold frames in the coldest areas.

It’s important to take into account the quantity of sunlight when maintaining a winter vegetable garden. Vegetable growth becomes dormant when there are less than 10 hours of sunlight per day. As a result, in the northern parts of the country, frost-tolerant vegetables should be planted in late summer and harvested in early winter.

When to Plant Winter Vegetables (With Pictures)

Knowing when to plant your vegetables is critical to having a successful winter crop. Planting winter vegetables is usually best done from mid-August to early October. By mid-winter, most root veggies and winter greens have reached a harvestable size. It’s important to pay attention to individual varieties when deciding to plant vegetables for harvesting in the winter.

Several vegetables may be purchased as cold-hardy cultivars. Spinach, carrots, leeks, kale, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips are among the vegetables that can withstand temperatures as low as -18°F (-28°C). Always plant the hardiest winter vegetable varieties if you live in USDA zones 5 or 6 to get the best results.

The Best Vegetables to Grow in Winter

Now, let’s examine which veggies are best suited to withstand frost and how to grow them.

Winter Kale — Leafy Green Vegetables

You can harvest kale throughout the winter because it is a cold-hardy winter green. The edible green or purple foliage of kale is a kind of cabbage. Winter is a good season for this tough vegetable, which can withstand temperatures as low as 5°F (-15°C) if it is not protected. Following a hard frost, kale is more delicious.

Six to eight weeks before the first frost, plant kale. Therefore, between the beginning and middle of September, you may plant kale in USDA zone 6 as the first frost occurs late October or early November. Kale grown in full sun to partial shade will grow throughout the winter. ‘Winterbor,’ ‘Red Russian,’ and ‘Blue Scotch Curled’ are some cold-hardy kale cultivars.

Carrots — Winter Root Vegetables

Carrots are delicious cold-weather root vegetables that sweeten after frost. They are winter vegetables. Carrot top roots are even more hardy, surviving temperatures as low as 18°F (-8°C). Carrots should be planted mid- to late-summer, at least ten weeks before the first frost, for a winter harvest.

To defend them from strong frost in November, you’ll have to create a really thick layer of mulch in zone 5. For the best results, plant carrots in the brightest area of your garden. After the first frost, cover the carrot tops with 18 inches (45 cm) of hay or shredded leaves for winter harvesting.

Parsnips — Cold Weather Root Vegetables 

Parsnip Hollow Crown | Dobies

Harvesting after the first frost is the best time to enjoy parsnip, which is a cool-weather crop. Frost converts starches in this root winter vegetable, like carrots, into sugar, giving it a sweet flavor. Provided you protect them, you can leave parsnips in the earth all winter and harvest them.

Parsnips should be planted in late spring to allow for proper growing. Parsnips may take up to 130 days to grow in the ground in zones 5 and 6. Planting parsnips 16 weeks before the first frost is ideal, if possible. Parsnips need protection in the harshest climates. After the first frost, you can harvest parsnips. Cover the parsnip tops with a thick layer of mulch if you want to harvest them throughout the winter until spring.


Collard is a winter vegetable that thrives in full sun and grows best during the winter months. Kale, cabbage, and broccoli are all in the same family as collards. After the first frost, the delicious winter greens are tastier and harvested when still small. In the autumn, collards are planted to experience a winter harvest of this delicious leafy green vegetable.

Planting collards six to eight weeks before the first frost is the optimum time. After the frost, collard greens will be ready to pick. This late-season harvest, on the other hand, may be gathered all year. Collards need at least four hours of sunlight every day to thrive and thrive in full sun. In the Southern states, collards may be found growing in abundance, despite the fact that they need a lot of care.


Broccoli, like other Brassica oleracea family members such as cabbage, kale, and collard, thrives in colder climates. Broccoli thrives in colder climes and is a cruciferous veggie. Broccoli can grow in zones 6 and 7 without any protection during mild winters.

Planting broccoli for winter harvest should take place 85 to 100 days before the first frost. As a result, it’s recommended that you germinate broccoli seeds in the summer and harvest them in late winter. You want to keep the ground moist when growing broccoli in full sun. If you want to appreciate broccoli in late summer or early fall, you may also plant it in the winter.


When you can consume this healthy vegetable, hardy varieties of cabbage are a fantastic addition to your winter vegetable garden. The savoy cabbages, with their large, crinkly leaves, are the most hardy cabbages. Cabbage flavor improves when it is grown in the ground after surviving one frost, as with many winter crops.

In colder climates, mid-summer is the ideal time to start cabbage outdoors. If you get an early frost, protecting young leaves is crucial. To get even more protection, you can grow cabbages beneath row covers. If you get especially cold, harvest cabbages in early winter.

Otherwise, in temperatures as low as 20°F (-7°C), winter cabbage should continue to grow. If the temperature is slightly above freezing, cabbage will store exceptionally well in a root cellar or refrigerator.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of the hardiest Brassica oleracea vegetables, and they can withstand brief freezes. This winter vegetable may endure brief, severe freezes during the cold season. If you want to get lengthy spells of freezing weather, however, you’ll want to harvest them in early winter.

Around 100 days before the first frost, plant Brussels sprouts. As long as the location is in full sun, you may directly sow the seeds into the garden. If you want to raise Brussels sprouts throughout the winter, you’ll need to provide additional shelter in zones 4 and 5. Harvest Brussels sprouts when they are at their sweetest, wait until the first frost to do it.


If you plant it in early fall, Kohlrabi is a fantastic cold-season crop. This hardy vegetable may be sown in late winter for a summer harvest or sown in early autumn for a winter harvest. Kohlrabi is a fast-maturing winter crop, which has an advantage. Plant kohlrabi seeds around six to ten weeks prior to the anticipated frost date in order to harvest in winter.

You’ll need around 65 days to harvest kohlrabi veggies if you’re lucky. You’ll need to provide additional frost protection in zone 5. Kohlrabi can be harvested in the winter months in Zone 6 and 7 areas.


Beets are winter-growing root veggies that come in a variety of cold-hardy types. Hardest varieties produce a spring harvest after growing throughout the winter. The tops of growing beet in a winter vegetable garden can be used in delicious winter salads, which is one of the benefits. Plant beets for a winter harvest if you live in zones 4 through 7.

Planting beets ten to twelve weeks before the first frost is optimum. To keep beet tops from getting frostbitten during the winter, use a thick layer of straw. When the ground gets too cold, you should harvest beets. In the ground throughout the winter, some hardy beet types in zones 7 and 8 may survive.


Since they grow in low light and are tolerant of frost, some leek types are particularly suited for winter gardens. Winter gardening is especially suited for certain leek types such as ‘Bandit’ and ‘Bleu de Solaise. Plant leeks three weeks after the final spring frost to harvest them in the winter.

Through the fall and into winter, leeks will continue to grow. Leeks may be harvested until the ground freezes. During particularly harsh winters, you’ll want to cover the plants with a layer of mulch that is about 12″ (30 cm) thick.

Winter Vegetables that Need Some Protection


Turnip - Wikipedia

With some protection, Turnips may last until the winter. Turnips, on the other hand, aren’t as cold-hardy as the other winter vegetables on this list, so you’ll have to collect them in fall. Turnips, on the other hand, keep well over the winter and make a welcome addition to warming, hearty stews.

Harvesting the first frost of the season, plant turnips in late summer. Depending on where you live, turnips take around 50 days to grow, so you should factor this in if you’re planning ahead. Store harvested turnips in a root cellar for use throughout the winter after you’ve harvested them in the fall.


Green onions or scallions are a hardy bulbous vegetable that thrives in freezing winter weather and are the preferred variety to grow as a winter crop. The ‘Evergreen Hardy White Scallion,’ which is a tiny, slender onion with green top growths, is the best variety for a winter vegetable garden. Harvest scallions in November after planting them in September.

Plant ‘Evergreen Hardy White Scallions. To keep the ‘spring onions’ alive throughout the winter, put them in a frost-free environment. Before the first frost, green onions should be of harvestable size as they go dormant during the winter.


If you place it in a cold frame or polytunnel, choose a cold-hardy lettuce to establish. Because the weather isn’t excessively hot or bitterly cold, lettuce can thrive all year. ‘Winter Marvel,’ ‘Winter Density,’ and ‘Brune d’Hiver are some of the cold-hardiest lettuce types to grow in a cold frame or winter polytunnel.

You’ll need to grow cold-hardy lettuce cultivars if you live in zones 4 or 5. Any kind of lettuce may thrive in zones 6 and 7, as long as it is frost-protected.

Top tip for growing lettuce in winter: Loose-leaf lettuces, compared to heading types, are better able to withstand freezing temperatures.


Some types of spinach are more hardy than others when it comes to winter protection. If placed under a row cover or in a cold frame, spinach thrives best in winter gardens. In zones 3 through 9, many spinach cultivars may be grown during the winter for winter harvesting.

Four to eight weeks before the frost date, plant spinach. When spinach is mature before the first frost, it grows better in the winter. Spinach should be grown in a winter greenhouse, cold frame, or row cover to get the best results. ‘Renegade,’ ‘Giant Winter Spinach,’ ‘Kolibri,’ and ‘Tyee’ are cold-hardy spinach types.

Bok Choy

If you grow bok choy in USDA zones 4 through 7, you can protect it from frost with a winter frame. Bok choy is a form of Chinese cabbage that grows year after year. Pak choy, horse’s ear, and Chinese celery cabbage are some of the many names for this delicious leafy green vegetable.

Bok choy should be planted in the fall when the weather is cooler. Bok choy leaves develop quickly, so you can harvest them as soon as possible. With light frosts, Bok choy continues to grow. To keep it safe from the cold and savor its delicious leaves throughout the winter, you should grow bok choy in a winter frame.

Winter Vegetables Harvested in Summer

For the next year’s harvest, you may grow a variety of veggies in your winter garden. These vegetables take many months to develop and are able to survive winters without their bulbs being damaged.


Garlic is a hardy bulbous vegetable that can be grown in your winter garden and harvested throughout the summer. To ensure that your zone survives the winter, you’ll need to select the appropriate variety. About two weeks before the first frost, plant garlic in late fall or winter. In the summertime, when the stalks have turned brown, garlic is ready to harvest.


Another crop that survives winter and is available the next year is onions, which may be harvested in late spring. Late in the spring, overwintering onion cultivars will develop gradually and be ready for harvest. Onion seeds should be planted in late July, and seedlings should be ready by August.

Grow them through winter and into spring in your winter vegetable garden. Cover the onion tops with straw, mulch, or floating row covers if temperatures fall below -10°F (-23°C).

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