Apr 7, 2012

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[winter hardy vegetable, cold hardy vegetable, organic gardening, best vegetable to grow, vegetable for square foot garden]


Nothing can beat the taste of fresh vegetables picked right from your garden. Remember the fresh juicy tomato you have picked from your garden and the taste is like heaven! They are not only fresh and tasty but also contain higher value of nutrients, due to the fact that we the gardeners do this organically. In this way, we are not only enriching our garden, but also make the surrounding environment better.

Gardening in Winter: Choose Vegetable to Grow Properly

My Garden during winter
During the spring and summer we are getting highly active, starting seeds, plantings new seedlings, weeding, mulching. But for many of us who live in colder region, where winter temperature easily goes down to -10C and still want to taste fresh vegetables from your garden, in this post I recommend you some winter hardy vegetables to grow in your garden. These vegetables can grow at subzero temperature. And therefore you will still be able to pick fresh vegetables in winter, which means year around gardening and harvesting. So read on explorer!

List of Winter Hardy Vegetables in Alphabetical Order

The following entries are based on my research and experience from growing them in either in my home garden or in community garden during winter.
  • Arugula: Hardy up to 15F (-9C).
It is one of the most profitable vegetables to grow per square foot and it is a tasty and nutritious addition to your garden salads with very good source of vitamin A/C/K, folate, calcium,iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.
  • Beets: Hardy up to 20F (-7C).
Either you eat the roots which are an excellent source of folate, potassium and manganese or eat the beet greens which are an excellent source of vitamin A/C/E/K/B6, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.
  • Bok choy: Hardy up to 24F (-4C).
Bok choy is a great source of vitamin A/C/K/B6, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
  • Broccoli: Hardy up to 10F (-12C).
It is one of those vegetables taste great when eat fresh. It is a great source of Vitamin A/C/K/B6, folate, potassium and manganese.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Hardy up to 0F (-16C).  
If the thought of Brussels sprouts sicken you, don’t give up on these until you try some fresh from your garden. As an added bonus this is a great source of vitamin A/C/K/B6, thiamine, folate, potassium and manganese.
  • Cabbage (Winter): Hardy up to 5F (-14C).
Good source of some vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese to your next meal.
  • Carrots: Hardy up to 15F (-9C).
Great in salads, stir-fry, or raw as quick snack and is also a great source of Vitamin A/C/K and potassium.
  • Collards: Hardy up to 24F (-4C).
Great source of vitamin A/C/E/K/B6, riboflavin, folate, calcium and manganese.
  • Endive: Hardy up to 5F (-15C).
Great addition to salads as well as making or a great addition to sounds.  Endive is high in vitamin A/C/K, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, potassium,zinc, copper and manganese.
  • Kale: Hardy up to 8F (-13C).  
Make some delicious Kale chips and is high in vitamin A/C/K/B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese.
  • Kohlrabi: Hardy up to 15F (-9C).
The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet. Kohlrabi is a great source of vitamin C/B6, potassium, copper and manganese.
  • Garlic: Hardy up to 8F (-13C).
One of the most useful aromatics to use in your kitchen and high in vitamin C/B6 and Manganese.
  • Leeks: Hardy up to 8F (-13C).
Great additions/bases for many soups and stocks.  Has flavor of onion though not quite as overpowering.  It is also great source of vitamin A/C/K, folate and manganese.
  • Lettuce: Hardy up to 24F (-4C).
A quick winter salad. You can choose wide varieties from green to darker leaves for more nutritious goodness of vitamin A/C/K,thiamine, folate, iron, potassium and manganese.
  • Onions (Bulb): Hardy up to 0F (-18C).
Plant these out this fall/winter for some nice large bulbs next spring/summer. These provide a great deal of versatility in food and vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese, and a good source of Vitamin C.
  • Onions (Bunching): Hardy up to 10F (-12C).
Plant a bunch of these and your garden and they will continue to spread and provide additional produce to your kitchen.  With just a little bit of protection you can have onions all winter.
  • Peas: Hardy up to 35F (2C).
Can cooked and eaten in pea curry, or in vegetable curry or simple eat this in salad or raw. Peas also provide vitamin A/C/K, thiamine, folate, iron and manganese.
  • Radish: Hardy up to 26F (-3C).
Tastes great either eaten as fresh raw or in salad. Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are also good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.
  • Spinach: Hardy up to 8F (-13C).  
Packed with nutritional potency being a very good source of protein, vitamin A/C/E/K/B6, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium,phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.
  • Swiss Chard: Hardy up to 20F (-7C). 
A good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E(Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

Excellent Books on Winter Gardening:
Who can resist taste of fresh vegetables from own garden? Hardly anybody! For us who live in cold country growing vegetables in winter, is a challenge. For this, I recommend you Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman, which will help you to grow your own vegetable all through the winter.

A Customer says - "I've built a few cold frames in north-eastern Massachusetts based on all the latest theories of maximizing and storing solar heat. They didn't work so well. Then I tried Eliott's simple cold-frame design and it was in every way superior! He's not making stuff up to sell a book, this is time-tested and personally tested advice from a master grower. This, and "The New Organic Grower" were my favorite books before I moved South."

The above list is based on my experience. Do you know any other winter/cold/frost hardy vegetables? Please share with us your experiences too.


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