Gardening in the winter

Top 10 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter

Winter vegetable growing allows you to extend the season and many vegetables that can be grown in winter will produce earlier crops than spring plantings.

If you were really organised in late spring/ early summer then you will have already grown some winter vegetable plants such as Winter Cabbage, Kale and Brussels Sprouts. These will be well under way by autumn and you will already have started planting your winter vegetables outdoors.

But don’t worry if it slipped your mind – there are lots of tasty vegetables to grow in winter that can be still sown this autumn.

Vegetables to grow outdoors in winter

Most winter vegetable plants are fully hardy and will cope well with cold winter weather, but if hard frosts threaten then you can always throw some fleece across them to provide some extra protection.

Most can be planted or sown directly outdoors to ensure that your winter vegetable garden is fully stocked.

1. Onions and Shallots

Autumn planting onion sets are easy to grow and will virtually look after themselves over winter. Onions have a long growing season and won’t be ready for harvesting until next summer, so you will need to plan carefully as they will still be in the ground when you start planting other crops in spring. Onion ‘First Early’ is a popular and reliable variety or for a brightly coloured red onion try Onion ‘Electric’. In recent years Shallots have become more popular with the trendy gardener. Autumn planting ‘Echalote Grise’ is a particularly choice variety for its intense and concentrated flavour.

2. Garlic

Growing garlic couldn’t be easier and there are lots of varieties to choose from for autumn planting. Like onions, they have a long growing season and won’t be ready to harvest until next summer, but it is well worth the wait! ‘Wight Cristo’ is well suited to most culinary dishes, but if you enjoy the fuller flavour of baked garlic, then try the attractive variety ‘Chesnok Red’ for its delicious creamy texture. For true garlic fans (and customers with vampire problems) T&M offers a full collection that will provide you with bumper crops of garlic.

3. Spring Onions

Winter hardy varieties of Spring onion make a tasty accompaniment to winter salads. They are a fairly quick growing crop and early autumn sowings should be ready to harvest by early spring. Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’ is a popular and reliable winter hardy variety.

4. Perpetual Spinach

Perpetual spinach makes an excellent ‘cut and come again’ crop that will produce huge yields of tasty leaves. Early autumn sowings will keep you supplied with tender young leaves throughout winter and with regular harvesting it will continue to crop well into summer! Be sure to remove the flowers to prevent it running to seed.

5. Broad Beans

Autumn sown broad beans can be harvested in spring up to a month earlier than spring sown plants. Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ is one of the best for autumn sowings, being particularly quick to establish. Once the plants are well grown you can even use the plant tips – they are delicious wilted with a little butter.

6. Peas

Enjoy an early crop of peas next spring. Autumn sowings of rounded varieties such as Pea ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ and Pea ‘Meteor’ are particularly hardy and will give you a head start next season. You will be the envy of the allotment when you start harvesting peas 3 or 4 weeks earlier than other growers!

7. Asparagus

If you have plenty of space then why not plant a permanent asparagus bed this autumn. Choose an autumn planting variety such as Asparagus ‘Mondeo’ or the colourful variety ‘Pacific Purple’. Although asparagus beds take several years to establish, each asparagus crown can produce up to 25 spears per year and will continue cropping for 25 years. You will need to be patient with this crop as it will be 2 years before you can harvest them properly – but the promise of tender, home grown asparagus spears is well worth the wait.

Vegetables to grow in the greenhouse in winter

Growing winter vegetables outdoors will make good use of your plot, but there are some crops that will need a little protection from the cold. These vegetables to grow over winter can be sown into cells and transplanted later into the soil borders of an unheated greenhouse, or grown under polytunnels, cloches and cold frames.

8. Winter Salads

Salads are not just for summer! Sow tasty ‘cut and come again’ mixes such as ‘The Good Life Mix’ under cover for harvesting throughout the winter months. Plant rows of Lambs Lettuce, Land Cress and Mustard alongside to add a spicy, peppery flavour to your winter salads. For tasty, crisp heads of Lettuce you can also try Lettuce ‘Winter Gem’.

9. Carrots

For an exceptionally early crop of carrots in spring try growing Adelaide. This fast-maturing variety can be sown as early as November in the greenhouse and as late as July outdoors.

10. Pak Choi

This dual purpose oriental vegetable can be harvested young throughout the winter as individual salad leaves, or let the heads mature and add the succulent stems to stir fries. Pak Choi is quick to mature and packed full of healthy vitamins A and C as well as Calcium, Iron and Folic Acid. Although it is often grown as a summer crop, Pak Choi can still be sown in late summer for transplanting under cover in autumn.

The harsh weather much of the country is experiencing means something to our gardens. Ground will freeze where it seldom freezes. Snow will visit places it seldom sees. Those familiar with snow and cold are seeing more of it.

What does this mean for our gardens? Bare soil frozen at extremely cold temperatures is subject to frost heave. Microorganisms, worms and other living components of our earth are lost as they retreat as deeply as they can.

Mulching before the the cold weather sets in will moderate ground temperatures and protect soil. A good snow cover also helps. When the forecast is set for extreme cold, it might be a good idea to add more mulch – you’re mulching your garden, right? Those places already with snow cover, forget it. I was going to recommend that you go out and shovel fall leaves, if you can find them, and snow on top of what’s already blanketing your garden. But I’d forgotten how cold your toes and your cheeks get when you’re outside and it’s 15 degrees, let alone 1.5 degrees above zero or colder. And I forgot how fast the wind will scatter any leaves you turn over. No doubt you mulched well ahead of winter weather. That will have to do.


Growing in winter requires a bit of specialized gear, but don’t worry. At Planet Natural we know what you need. From greenhouse kits and grow lights to seed starting supplies and frost protection, we have what you’re looking for!

Snow, which carries nitrogen to the soil, is actually good for the garden. It insulates, protecting soil from sudden temperature swings. It releases its moisture into the ground slowly. A snow cover just might be the difference between your garlic bulbs and asparagus patch surviving the winter with or without damage. Another reason we like snow cover? It’s beautiful.

The recent visit from the Arctic Vortex makes this hardly the week to proclaim it’s time to start the garden. But you can. Root vegetables – carrots, turnips, rutabagas and the like – as well as spinach, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts can be seeded on bare ground, if you have any, and covered with potting soil if the ground is frozen hard. Plants that emerge early in the spring harden off naturally — unless there’s a late cold snap — and are overall more hardy in my observation than plants purchased from nurseries later on in the spring. You might say they’re the products of tough love. There’s also less chance of fall and winter plantings coming down with disease. They’ll be well established come warm weather when diseases and such flourish.

Of course, many places are currently buried in snow including a lot of places that usually aren’t. Here in Bozeman, we have snow cover all winter long, interrupted by a thaw or two before it comes again. It can start as early as Halloween (or before!) and extend well into… well, I don’t want to think about how long it can go on. But I’ve always had success seeding lettuce, carrots, chard, and spinach in the fall and mulching heavily with clean straw, leaves and other lawn gleanings. The main thing is not to let the mulch get packed down. We’ve pulled up the mulch (gently! gently!) during February thaws and found seedlings — those little chard leaves, blanched white — patiently waiting for warming weather.

Protection is what we go for in the winter, for both our garden soil and any plants that may have taken it on themselves to get growing even if it is winter. Mulch — a hardy layer of insulation — provides that protection. You put a lot of time and effort into your soil. Think of it as an investment. Like any investment, you want it protected. In the winter garden, mulch is the security system. And you can take that to the bank.

Spring Garden To-Do List

By Erin Huffstetler | 04/24/2018 |

This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Spring is a busy time for gardeners. Use this printable spring garden to-do list to stay on top of all of those projects that need your attention. It comes pre-filled with common garden tasks, and has plenty of room for you to add more.

Print Spring Garden To-Do List

Now that you have the printable, let’s dig into some of those spring to-dos in more detail.

Vegetables to Plant in the Spring

Plant cold-hardy vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, peas, potatoes, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, kale, leaf lettuce, turnips, garlic, onions, asparagus and radishes, as soon as the soil is workable. They’re tough enough to withstand a few end-of-season frosts. In fact, the cold will actually make them sweeter.

Plant heat-loving vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons and summer squash, after the threat of frost has passed. Here are some spring planting guides to help you get your garden going.

How to Plant Onions
How to Plant Garlic
How to Plant Asparagus
How to Grow Potatoes in a Cage
How to Plant Tomatoes
How to Plant Cucumbers
Square Foot Planting Guide

Garden Pests to Tackle in the Spring

If you don’t want to see insects, birds and animals make off with your harvest, put some preventative pest control measures in place now. Here are some things you can do to protect your garden.

How to Protect Fruit Trees from Pests
How to Keep Birds From Eating Your Berries
How to Keep Birds From Eating Your Grapes
How to Get Rid of Aphids

And here are some things that you can do to keep the bugs from bothering you while you garden.

How to Make Tick Tubes
How to Make an All-Natural Bug Spray
How to Make Bug Repellent Sticks

Many web browsers have their own built-in PDF viewers, but they tend to be buggy. If you’re having trouble printing or editing one of our printables, click here for help.

Start-a-Garden Checklist

  • Assess your exposure. If you are planting vegetables, keep in mind that most need at least eight hours of full sun every day. Flowers and other decorative plants have different sunlight needs, depending on their type. Study what sort of light your yard gets during the day, particularly noting the sunny and shady areas.
  • Designate your planting areas. You need a plan before you plant. A four-by-four-foot plot of land is a good start for vegetables. For flowers, decide where you’d like to dig the beds.
  • Consider a fence. Fences are especially important if you are planting vegetables (although some flowering plants may be enticing to critters, too). Build it before you plant the garden, so rabbits or raccoons never get a glimpse (or a taste) of that lettuce.
  • Know your dirt. Most soil—even sand—can be enriched with compost and be fine for planting. But you need to determine how much organic material and mulch you’ll have to add to make it fertile. A local gardening center can help.
  • Decide between tilling and creating a raised bed. If you don’t want to till and nourish the soil you’ve got—or if you have a bad back and would rather not be bending down so low to garden—you can build a raised planting bed with non-pressure-treated wood.
  • Contact your local cooperative extension service. You’ll need help determining what plants will grow in your part of the country (hint: Lemon trees don’t grow in Maine), when frosts are likely to hit, and the ideal time to plant and harvest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a network of cooperative extension services dedicated to providing that information.
  • Write down your preferences. For a vegetable garden, think about what you like to eat and what you generally buy (or can’t buy) at a local farmers’ market. With flowers, make a list of the colors you love and what you’d like to see in a vase on your kitchen table.
  • Make a seasonal plan. Once you determine what will grow, what you like, and what time of year certain plants will flourish, you need to create a schedule. If your flowering plants all bloom in July and then die off, have some evergreen plants to keep the area looking lush. If your tomato plants take months to get big, plant smaller vegetables nearby that can make quick use of the space. Again, a local gardening center can help you plan.
  • Buy some basic tools. Have these essentials on hand before you begin: spade; garden fork; soaking hose; hoe; hand weeder; and a basket for moving around mulch or soil.

Untitled Goose Game guide: The Garden to do list

Untitled Goose Game is a short and rambunctious puzzle game. In it, you play as a goose on the loose turning a small town upside down. In each area, you have a set of small tasks to complete before you can move onto the next area.

Since you need to accomplish a handful of those goals and one final task before you can move onto the next area, you might get stuck. Here’s a walkthrough of The Garden area that will get you through that section.

We’ll do some of the tasks out of order to make your life easier.

After leaving the forest, the first area you’ll encounter is the garden. There’s several tasks here that will teach you the basics of Untitled Goose Game.

The Garden to do list

  • The Garden to do list
  • Get into the garden
  • Steal the groundskeeper’s keys
  • Get the groundskeeper wet
  • Rake in the lake
  • Have a picnic
  • Make the groundskeeper hammer his thumb
  • Make the groundskeeper wear his sun hat

Get into the garden

You have a few options here. You can:

  • Turn on the sprinkler that will force the groundskeeper out, and you can sneak in behind him
  • Use the hole in the wall located to the left of the garden
  • Honk to get his attention and grab one of the fertilizer bags to force him out
  • Our preferred option is grabbing the radio. Doing so turns the radio on, forcing the groundskeeper to come out. You can head into the garden right after, or you can attempt the next task first.

Steal the groundskeeper’s keys

Going slightly out of order, you should do this task first.

As the groundskeeper tries to get the radio back after you grab it, slowly walk around him and grab the keys off his side. Run into the garden, completing both tasks. To set up the next task, leave the keys near the sprinkler.

Get the groundskeeper wet

After you’ve left the keys near the sprinkler, the groundskeeper will run to retrieve them. Head out of the garden and turn on the sprinkler while he gets the keys. You can also pick up an item like the radio and get him to chase you into the water.

Rake in the lake

There’s a rake located in the back of the garden. Grab it and walk around the planters on the right side so you can pull it through the garden without the groundskeeper seeing you. Then drag the rake into the lake.

Have a picnic

The basket, sandwich, and apple are on (or near) the bench. House House/Panic via Polygon

There are a few steps in this process:

  • Most of the items are contained in the garden itself, including the pumpkin, jam, thermos, carrot, and the radio (if the groundskeeper has taken in back).
  • The rest of the items like the apple, sandwich (remember to grab both pieces) and the basket are near the chair by the lake.

Bring all of those items to the picnic blanket next to the right on the right.

After doing these first five steps, an additional task. “make the groundskeeper hammer his thumb,” will be added. You need to do this one to move on. However, the only task you haven’t done, “make the groundskeeper wear his sun hat,” is easier to do after completing the final task.

Make the groundskeeper hammer his thumb

After completing all but one of the tasks, the groundskeeper will pull out a sign and hammer it in. However, by the time this final task is added, the groundskeeper might want to bring back the items you stole from him from the picnic. If he does, help him out by bringing some of them back into the garden to speed up the process.

Right as he raises his arm to strike for the final time, honk, and the groundskeeper will get scared and hit his thumb. This will cause him to fall down and open a door for you to move on. Before leaving, pull the sign back out so he can hammer it in again and you can complete the last task.

Make the groundskeeper wear his sun hat

As the groundskeeper gets up and tries to hammer in the sign again, head outside the garden via the door he opened in the last task. As he hammers, scare him again.

Now that you’re outside, when he falls, you’ll be right next to his head. Grab the hat off his head and hide it out of sight. When he can’t find it, he’ll go into the garden and put on his sun hat.

That’s it for all the standard missions in the garden.

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