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When autumn comes and goes, most gardeners hang up their tools for the winter. But, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably looking for the best plants to grow this winter, versus putting the tools up for the year and sitting around waiting for spring to arrive.
From kitchen herbs to the most common fruits and vegetables, believe it or not, there’s still plenty to plant when the cold arrives this winter.
Read on and discover 15 of the best plants to grow this winter. While everyone else is pushing the pause button on their gardens, your gardening game will continue.
What Are The Best Plants for Winter Gardens?
Onions, garlic, various salads, and peas are winter-friendly veggies. Cherries, strawberries, and raspberries also do well growing in winter as far as fruits are concerned. There are also loads of kitchen herbs like Mint, Thyme, and Oregano. Flowers also grow indoors and outdoors in the winter.
Top 5 Vegetables to Grow This Winter
Once your Scallions and Sweet Vidalias are done for the year, why not try your hand at growing Spring Onions this winter? They are one of the few onions that may actually sprout and produce something green and edible even through the snowy months of the year.
Spring Onions are a good source of Vitamin A, B2, C, and K. They are also rich in other good stuff like magnesium, potassium, and fiber. You can simply cut the greenery off once it is a few inches long and eat it raw or chop it and dry it or use it as a fresh ingredient.
Some species of Garlic may be planted all the way up until the end of October or the beginning of November. If prepared properly, the plants may resist temperatures as low as -30°F.
The last row of Garlic needs to go into the ground, before the first frost. Otherwise, if planted too late in the year, the cold temperatures will wipe them out due to inadequate root systems.
Depending on where you live, and what type of salad you’re interested in growing, you may be able to plant, grow, and harvest salads all through the winter months.
Some of the best species of salad for winter growing (in general) are Winter Purslane, Watercress, Land Cress, and Mache.
For more information on which types of salads are best to grow in your neck of the woods, perform a quick Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo search! Add “Site:.edu” in front of your search query for results from trustworthy universities which have extensive gardening facilities and accurate information.
If it’s growing lettuce this winter that you’re interested in trying, you may find our article, GROWING LETTUCE: A QUICK GUIDE of interest!
For a plant that takes 3 to 4 years to mature, the ability to be grown during winter is extremely helpful. Asparagus can tolerate rather cold temperatures, even snow, up to a point.
After it snows, let your asparagus’ stalks turn rotten and feed the soil. Once the stalks fall off, however, protect the Asparagus with several inches of mulch, straw, or something comparable.
Either love them or hate them, Peas are one of the greatest vegetables to grow during the winter, especially in greenhouses or in warmer climate zones that don’t see much (if any) snow over the winter months.
In most areas, you may plant peas all the way up until November. With proper protection, they will prepare themselves to burst through and grow into early-Spring peas once the snow and ice thaw for the year.
Top 5 Fruits to Grow This Summer
This delicious fruit is on top of our list of the top 5 fruits to grow this summer for a few reasons. One, we absolutely adore growing strawberries. Two, they are easy to grow. And, three, they can actually grow all year round, which makes them perfect for growing in the winter.
Granted, winter strawberry growing is best done inside. Further, growing strawberries in a hydroponic garden during winter is the best course of action if you want plenty of big, fat, fresh, juicy strawberries during those long cold months.
To learn more about growing strawberries, click over to our article, GROWING STRAWBERRIES: A QUICK GUIDE.
In most climates, raspberries won’t technically grow during winter, because it is their dormant season. But, they can be planted at any time during the winter.
Just make sure you get them into the ground between November and March and they’ll have plenty of time to prepare themselves for new growth in the early spring.
Want to know more about growing raspberries? Check out our article, BLACKBERRIES, AND RASPBERRIES: GARDENING GUIDE.
Believe it or not, certain winter or late-season species of Apples are the perfect fruit to tend to in the winter as they may be readily available for harvest even during snowy wintertime. Before you think we’re crazy, and skip the rest of our list, just search up “apples that grow in winter”.
You may have to do some hunting to find the right sort of species for the climate zone and local environment you’re garden is located in, but Pears are another type of fruit that grows in winter and is widely available for harvesting during those cold months of the year.
If grown inside, in large pots, with fertilizer, plenty of light, warmth, water, and humidity, most citrus trees are great for growing in winter, including lemon trees.
Set up your tree and its pot in a part of the house that receives as much indirect but bright sunlight as possible, perhaps in front of a south or west-facing window.
Top 5 Herbs to Grow This Summer
Quite possibly the easiest plant to grow during the winter of all is Chives. These delicate greens grow quickly and steadily on most windowsills or shelves near windows.
In some climate zones, chives may grow directly in the ground over winter. They will most definitely grow in a greenhouse during the winter as well.
The second best plant to grow this winter, as far as herbs go, is by far Oregano. It grows nearly as easily as chives, though requires a bit more protection. If grown outdoors, it will continue to grow as long as you protect it or grow it in a greenhouse or indoors.
A kitchen windowsill that receives plenty of morning sun, or indirect all day, is a prime location for growing Oregano this winter.
For those with a taste for Mint, you’ll be glad to know that it is one of the best herbs to grow this winter. In fact, indoors, or in a greenhouse, it is one of the best herbs to grow all year long.
Mint requires a good deal of indirect light and plenty of moisture too. Other than that, it is relatively simple to care for. Keep it away from fans, heaters, and coolers, or it will need much more moisture than usual (and possibly misting as well).
If it’s kitchen spices you’re after, Thyme is another prime species of herb to grow in the winter months. If properly looked after, and placed in the right location inside, or in a greenhouse, Thyme plants grow and produce harvestable herbs all winter long.
Avoid getting the leaves of your Thyme plants too wet this winter though, or they may not survive until the Spring, to make it back outside. Save the misting for other plants that prefer more humidity.
Not only does Lemon Blam live through winter, and regrow into full-sized plants in the spring, but they may also be planted from seeds during the late winter as well.
Instead of cutting your Lemon Balm back to nubs, and bringing them inside for the winter, why not try protecting them with a wind tunnel or greenhouse? You might just be surprised how they react!
A Final Word About the Best Garden Plants to Grow This Winter
Hopefully, with the list of best plants to grow this winter that we share above, you’re able to find the inspiration to decide which plants are best for you to grow this winter.
Our favorites didn’t all fit on this list, in fact, we didn’t even mention our favorite houseplants to grow during winter, like succulents, mini palms, and banana trees.
Whatever plants you deem best to try out this winter, just remember that the best plants to grow this winter aren’t just about having something to harvest during the coldest months of the year. Sometimes the best plants to grow in the winter are also about giving them extra preparation for the next season and having plants growing and thriving once early spring arrives.
Thanks for reading! We’d love to know what you thought about our list, in the comment section below!
Suggested Reading: 20 Best Plants to Grow This Autumn
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Hey guys, great list but what about some more selection? For example, what other herbs are good for summer gardens?