Winter Vegetable Gardening Tips
Why grow vegetables in winter..? There may be many reasons. Scientific reason is many vegetables potentially store more sugars when exposed to cold temperature. Social reason is most of the winter vegetables are poor shippers and you have no choice but to grow them yourself. But bottom line of all is that growing vegetables in winter is a fun.
The basic concern is the effect of winter on your plants. But the fact is that winter cannot do any damage to carefully mulched winter vegatable plants.
Before planting vegetables you should know the avearge date of the first killing frost in your region so that you can plant accordingly. Consult your local garden authorities to get the information on the timings of the frost. Plant your veggies early enough so that they reach their full potential before the killing frost. In this way you can reap maximum benefits of the winter gardening.
While selecting the location, choose the place which has maximum exposure to sunlight. Slight ground slope locations can help to drain away the extra waters. By employing cold frames you can protect your veggies from strong winds and nighttime temperatures.
There are number of vegetables that can be grown in winter. These vegetables differ in their maturity dates. Some of the ideas are:
- Vegetables that take 30 days for the maturity are radishes, chives and bunching onions. Some of the leaf crops that you can grow are: Spinach, broccoli, mustard, leaf lettuces and lawn seed.
- Vegetables that you can grow are leek, turnip, early carrots, cabbages, cauliflowers and collards. All these take about 60 days for maturity.
- Late maturing vegetables that you can grow are rutabaga, carrots, beets, onions, brussells sprouts, fava bean and cauliflowers. These take about 90 days to mature.
The best way to protect your veggies from the frost rains is to use raised beds. They control the moisture levels and also protect your plants from pests and diseases. These raised beds can also be covered for the protection of crops.
Rotation planting of the crops can be beneficial in winters. By this way you can retain the essential nutrients and continue to plant in next winter as well.