Growing vegetables in winter


Vegetables to Grow in Winter

Last Updated Mar 15, 2019 · Written by Rob Schneider · 8 min read

We often think of growing vegetables as a seasonal job: plant in spring and enjoy them over the summer months. In most parts of Australia, you can grow amazing winter vegetables. You just have to know which veggies will thrive in your climate. We’ll start with cooler Australian climates and move on to tropical parts of Australia.

  1. Cool Climate Winter Vegetables

  2. Winter Vegetables for Temperate Regions

  3. Growing Winter Vegetables in Dry Areas

  4. Winter Vegetables to Grow in Subtropical Areas

  5. Winter Vegetables for Tropical Areas

  6. Tips for Growing Winter Vegetables

  7. When to Plant Your Winter Vegetables

Cool Climate Winter Vegetables

Parts of Victoria, Tasmania and higher tableland areas have cool winter climates. Even in these climates you can grow a variety of herbs and winter vegetables.

Some herbs you can grow include chives, coriander, garlic, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, shallots, tarragon and thyme. And don’t forget that you can grow herbs indoors. All they need is a sunny window to thrive. Growing them indoors will protect any herb from frost and if you grow them in your kitchen, you’ll have the herbs you need at your fingertips.


Some vegetables that thrive in a cooler climate include:

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese broccoli and cabbage
  • English spinach
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Silver beet
  • Turnip

That’s quite a list of winter vegetables. If frost is a problem in your area, plant above ground veggies like cabbages in a container. You can make a “blanket” for your veggies by erecting poles around the container and using plastic to protect your crops at night. Just remember to remove the plastic in the morning so your plants can get full sun and don’t become overheated.

Winter Vegetables for Temperate Regions

Sydney and other coastal parts of New South Wales and some parts of Victoria have temperate climates. Some good winter vegetables to grow in these temperate regions include:

  • Broad beans
  • English spinach
  • Green beans
  • Peas

Herbs include coriander, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme and winter tarragon. You can grow more herbs indoors. For some tips, read Creating an Indoor Herb Garden.

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Growing Winter Vegetables in Dry Areas

Temperatures can dip in dry, inland areas of Australia in winter, but you can still grow a variety of veggies and herbs. Some winter vegetables that will grow well in drier parts of Australia and the outback include:

  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips

To preserve water, grow them in containers and use mulch to help retain water. You can grow almost all varieties of herbs in winter in dry and outback areas of Australia.

Winter Vegetables to Grow in Subtropical Areas

Subtropical areas are great for growing vegetables and herbs. Most herbs will thrive throughout the year in subtropical regions like northern NSW and south-east Queensland. The veggies that do best in these areas are broadbeans, broccoli, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, shallots, spinach, spring onions and turnips.

Winter Vegetables for Tropical Areas

If you live in Northern Queensland, the Northern Territories or parts of Western Australia, you may enjoy a warm, tropical climate. Whether you live in a wet or dry tropical area, the list of vegetables you can grow is a long one. Just some of the more popular vegetables include:

  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

That’s just a partial list of the winter veggies you can grow in tropical Australia. Herbs include basil, coriander, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme and winter tarragon.

Tips for Growing Winter Vegetables

In any season, vegetables thrive in sunny locations. They like as much light as you can find for them. The sun is lower during the winter months, so choose a spot that gets as much winter sun as possible. Depending on the orientation of your house, this may be in the middle of your garden or near a fence that gets winter sun.


There are several ways to plant a vegetable garden. We often plant them in rows, with one variety per row or container. Sometimes, planting one vegetable in an area can attract pests. Before modern pesticides were invented, gardeners discovered companion planting. Some herbs repel garden pests. Pungent smelling herbs like oregano, sage, lavender and basil repel garden pests. Others taste terrible and pests will avoid going into areas where they grow.

Companion planting can be good for your veggie garden in another way. Our article, Plants that look, grow and play well together covers many ways you can mix your vegetables, herbs and flowers together to help them thrive. For example, if you live in a tropical area and grow tomatoes, plant them together with beans and carrots. If you live in a temperate or cooler area, plant broad beans and peas together.

One of the great things about growing your own veggies is that you can grow them organically and avoid chemical herbicides and pesticides. Our article, Want an Eco-Garden: Here’s How covers a variety of ways you can avoid using chemicals on your garden. It is a five step process:

  1. Make a compost heap for fertiliser
  2. Minimise water usage with mulch and consider installing a drip irrigation system
  3. Friendly birds and insects can help control garden pests
  4. Companion planting helps control garden pests
  5. Use recycled materials wherever possible

No matter how large or small your garden is, you can grow winter vegetables. Intensive planting is one way to get bigger crops in a small space. An intensive garden is one where your vegetables are planted close together.

If you have a tiny yard or even a balcony, you can still find winder vegetables to grow. The best fruits, vegetables and herbs to grow on your balcony suggests several vegetables you can grow on your balcony in pots. For example, peas and beans can climb a trellis and take up little space on a balcony. You can grow other vegetables in pots. You just need to pick a spot where your vegetables and herbs can get sunlight throughout the day.

When to Plant Your Winter Vegetables

Gardening experts recommend staggering your vegetables throughout the winter months rather than planting them all at the same time. As a general rule, they recommend planting:

These are general rules only and may depend on your climate. Your local nursery, garden maintenance service or garden designer may be able to recommend the best planting times for your climate.

When you grow veggies throughout the year, you will save money and have healthy, organic vegetables for your family to enjoy. A vegetable garden can be a beautiful and edible part of your garden. It may take a little work to get your garden started, but after you’ve planted your vegetable garden, you will only have to keep it weeded and watered. Your whole family will enjoy the great taste of homegrown vegetables and you’ll probably be inspired to expand your vegetable garden in spring.

  • Broad beans, cabbages, dill, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, radishes, snow peas and thyme in June
  • Chicory, endive, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsnips, radishes, sage and shallots in July. You can also plant June crops in July
  • Artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, garlic, potatoes, spinach, spring onions and tomatoes should be planted in August


You might also like: How to grow herbs at home, 2020 How much do gardeners cost?

Winter Herb, Fruit & Vegies Planting Guide By Regional Zones

What will grow in your garden this Winter? Have no idea? Then refer to our temperate zone planting guide! It’s so easy, just locate your zone on the map and discover all the delicious produce you can be enjoying.

Happy Winter Gardening!


(includes: South-east Qld & Northern NSW)

FRUIT & VEGETABLES – plant spinach, silver beet, lettuce and early-maturing cabbage.

Wet & Dry Tropical

(includes: North Queensland, NT & WA)

HERBS – plant dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, Thai coriander and thyme.

Dry Inland

(includes: Arid or Outback areas)


(includes: Sydney, coastal NSW & Victoria)

FRUIT & VEGETABLE – plant Chinese greens (for example Pak choi).

Cool & Southern Tablelands

(includes: Melbourne, Tasmania & cool highlands)

HERBS – plant chives, curry, dill, mint, parsley, sage and thyme.


(includes: Adelaide & Perth)

FRUIT & VEGETABLE – plant artichoke, asparagus, broad bean, carrot, English spinach, lettuce, onion, pea and radish.

Download easy to read PDF seasonal winter-herb-fruit-vegie-planting-guide-by-regional-zones list

Winter Flower Planting Guide How to Grow Strawberries

The Best Winter Vegetables List

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The best winter vegetables list is far different from a summer list but growing cold season crops is very rewarding.

Have you grown a winter garden yet? If you have, you already know that successfully growing items on a winter vegetables list can be tricky.

First of all, let’s redefine winter. Crops will not grow in snow or frozen ground. They won’t grow without adequate light. And though winter vegetables survive freezing nights, they thrive at 40-60ºF. Cultivating crops in the winter can mean several things: You plant short-season vegetables which are harvested before the snow stays. You use season extenders to keep the soil unfrozen and temperatures higher. Or winter in your area means light frosts but nothing hard or long term.

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If you live in zone nine, you may not be growing winter squash but Roodnerf Brussels Sprouts, at 100 days to maturity, will thrive. Zone seven may mean starting Parel Cabbage and Golden Ball Turnip, both fewer than 60 days, in October so they’re harvested by Christmas. And zones three and colder mean winter gardening happens within a greenhouse.

When you make your winter vegetables list, consider your warmest garden spots, available sunlight, and how you’ll protect crops if temperatures swing too low for them to do well. Also consider waiting a few months until the coldest nights are over, then starting crops within a greenhouse to transplant outside when the weather improves.

Types of bok choy and pak choy
Photo by Shelley DeDauw

Brassicas: Also called “cole crops” or “crucifers,” these include kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Asian cabbages, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, and rutabagas.

The most sensitive of these are bok choy, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage. They can withstand a light freeze (29-32ºF) but may get damaged through too many hard frosts. Grow these during light winters but keep frost protection on hand for weather dipping below 28 degrees. Choose choy for harvests within four to six weeks and longer-season cauliflower if your winters are mild.

The hardiest brassicas include kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, radishes, mustard greens, and turnips. Though all these crops prefer sunlight and warmth, they will withstand frigid nights. But if your soil is constantly frozen in both day and night, provide a method of warming the garden bed.

Brassicas range in maturity dates from 29-day French radishes to 100-day rutabagas. Short- and long-season varieties exist within nearly all varieties.

Spinach: Cold weather is spinach’s best friend. It’ll grow for months as a cut-and-come-back crop, but if temperatures soar, it bolts. Spinach is also very hardy, sitting frost-glazed after a winter storm and waiting for the sun to come back so it can grow again. Direct-seed and encourage germination by placing clear plastic or glass over the garden bed, then remove protection to let seedlings acclimate to the cold. Note that New Zealand spinach is not the same; it’s frost-sensitive and will perish if temperatures drop too low.

Root Vegetables: This broad list includes many brassicas named above, in addition to beets, carrots, and parsnips. Roots fare so well in cold ground that leaving them in place is a recommended method for how to store vegetables in winter. But all root crops need three things to thrive: sunlight for the tops, adequate water, and unfrozen ground. To encourage growth during the coldest days, warm soil with transparent material such as clear plastic or glass. Soil needs to be moist, not wet.

Photo by Shelley DeDauw

Alliums: Winter is an important part of allium development. Garlic, planted in the fall, overwinters beneath mulch then produces bulbs midsummer. Leeks, such as the Scottish heirloom called Giant Musselburgh, are so winter-hardy that leaving them in place during the snowy season ensures larger harvests the next year. Growing onions and shallots takes longer in cold months than summer because they prefer temperate weather. If this year’s alliums haven’t matured by the time snow falls, it’s okay to leave them in place. Brush snow away to pull enough for what you need for dinner. Unless your frosts are intense, alliums will be fine.

Swiss Chard: Homesteaders preparing for possible disaster should keep viable chard seeds in their inventories. That’s because chard grows at 100ºF or 20ºF, in poor soil or rich. It toughens up and holds out near-zero degrees, waiting for the sun to come back so it can grow again. And chard is a valuable source of nutrients during a time when other greenery is scarce.

Swiss chard
Photo by Shelley DeDauw

Lettuce: Often the first to be sown in early spring, lettuce will thrive as long as the ground is thawed. Certain varieties are more tolerant than others; radicchio doesn’t like a hard frost but colorful wild lettuce is very hardy. Sow as soon as the ground can be worked. If seeds don’t germinate within a week, warm soil by laying plastic or glass overtop.

Most Herbs: Basil is finicky; it will blacken and die before frost even settles in, which is why it doesn’t survive well in a refrigerator. But most other herbs are first to emerge in the spring and need very little protection. Some rosemary varieties are hardy and shrublike but the more tender types should be planted in containers and kept warm in the winter. Parsley, oregano, sage, mint, and thyme thrive in the cold, going dormant in the winter and coming back before the snow stops falling.

Cover Crops: Sometimes, the best winter gardening solution is to improve the ground for next year. Cover crops are rarely on a winter vegetables list because they don’t produce immediate food. Plant in fall, cultivate in the winter with minimal tending, then till under in the spring before you plant vegetables again. These green manures add carbon, feed microbes which provide nitrogen, increase organic material, and prevent erosion. Try legumes, such as red clover, for the lowest maintenance. Or grow cereal grains such as winter wheat for cover during the cold months, allowing them to mature the next year to feed you or your animals.

And which crops should wait until spring? Do not attempt squash or pumpkins, either sweet potatoes or standard “Irish” potatoes, corn, melons, cucumbers, okra, or any other nightshades such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatillos. These grow best at 70ºFor warmer and will die in a light frost. Even greenhouses within zones seven and colder should wait until spring unless they have dependable supplementary heat.

No matter which crops you grow, remember a few rules for success.

  • Planter boxes freeze long before the ground will. Raised beds freeze next. Root vegetables are safest within the actual ground.
  • Layering mulch at the base of plants keeps roots warmer.
  • Vegetables planted beside south-facing brick walls can flourish while the rest of the garden freezes.
  • Water acts as an insulator. Dry cold is more damaging than wet cold. Watering your garden before a freeze can protect roots. Do not wet the foliage.
  • If plastic touches foliage, plants will freeze through the plastic. Be sure any plastic frost protection is suspended above leaves, as with a hoop house.

What’s on your winter vegetables list? Do you have any growing tips to share?

Temperature Range Crops with Tolerance Special Considerations
32ºF and Above Basil, beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant,
melons, okra, peppers, potatoes,
squash, tomatoes, tomatillo
Frost protection can keep these alive during cold nights.
Do not let plastic touch foliage.
Plants won’t thrive until the weather is above 60 degrees.
29-32ºF Artichokes, bok choy, cauliflower, celery
Chinese cabbage, peas, radicchio
Provide frost protection if temperatures drop below 29.
Seeds need temperatures above 60 to germinate.
Plants thrive above 50 degrees.
28ºF and Below Arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage,
collards and mustard greens, kale, kohlrabi,
leeks, lettuce, mint, onions and shallots,
parsley, parsnips, oregano, radishes, sage,
spinach, Swiss chard, thyme, turnips
Plants won’t grow in frozen ground, ice, or unmelted snow.
Use season extenders to warm soil and air enough for
cold weather crops to flourish. Though they won’t die in the
cold, these crops will grow much slower than in springtime.

Wondering which vegetables to grow in winter? The fact is, growing winter vegetables is not as difficult as you think. But to get it right, you’ll want to know the right plants that do well in the cold weather and which ones can thrive in your climate.

Basically, there are vegetables that do well in certain climates and fail in others. For example, vegetables that grow in tropical areas may not do well in a cool climate.

This article has all the information you need to successfully grow vegetables in winter. But if you want to get back to basics, take a look at this beginner’s guide to gardening.

Winter Vegetables That Do Well in Cool Climates

In areas such as Tasmania and Victoria which have a cool winter climate, you can grow these winter vegetables:

  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Turnip
  • Beetroot
  • Potatoes
  • English spinach
  • Broad beans
  • Carrots
  • Silverbeet
  • Leeks
  • Chinese cabbage and broccoli
  • Cauliflower

For the best results, plant these vegetables in a place where they will get full sunlight.

Temperate Region Winter Vegetables

Some winter vegetables that you can grow in places such as the coastal part of New South Wales and some parts of Victoria include:

  • Peas
  • English spinach
  • Green beans
  • Broad beans

Dry Area Winter Vegetables

The temperatures in the dry inland parts of Australia can dip, but you can still grow a number of vegetables. Some of the vegetables that do well in the dryer areas include:

  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower

For better maintenance of the plants and to preserve water, grow the vegetables in pots and cover the soil with mulch to retain as much moisture as possible.

Winter Vegetables for Subtropical Areas

There are vegetables that do well in subtropical areas such as southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales. The vegetables that flourish in these areas are:

  • Peas
  • Shallots
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Broad beans
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Spring onions

Tropical Area Winter Vegetables

Source: Markus Spiske

The tropical weather, wet or dry, is possibly the best for growing winter veggies. Some of the places with this type of climate include parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territories, and Northern Queensland. The vegetables that you can grow include:

  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet corn
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Beetroot

This is a favourable climate and you can grow these and many more vegetables.

Tips to Successfully Grow Winter Vegetables

Vegetables need as much sun as they can get regardless of the season. The sun is low during winter months, so your garden should be in an area that gets full winter sunlight. Take a look at your property and pick the area that gets the most sun.

The best way to plant a vegetable garden is to plant your veggies in rows with each variety in its own row. You can also opt for a winter vegetable container garden.

To prevent pest infestation, you can plant herbs that are known to repel garden pests. Some of the herbs that emit a pungent smell and repel pests include sage, basil, lavender, and oregano. The smell is so strong that many pests cannot stand them. Other herbs taste terrible and pests avoid them at all costs.

The process of planting different plants to obtain specific benefits such as pest repelling is called companion planting. This is an age-old practice that also improves the health of plants. For example, if you live in a cool area, plant peas and broad beans together. If you live in Western Australia or other tropical areas, plant tomatoes mixed with carrots and beans.

Avoid using chemicals and herbicides to grow healthy and organic vegetables. Growing an eco-friendly garden is easy and features the following steps:

  • Create fertiliser from compost
  • Use mulch or a drip irrigation system to control water usage
  • Learn how you can attract friendly insects and birds to control garden pests
  • Apply companion planning

Regardless of the size of your garden, you can grow winter vegetables that do well in your climate. Plant the vegetables close together for a big harvest.

Those with small yards or the only space that is available is on the balcony can also grow winter vegetables.

How? By planting the vegetables in pots and crates. Peas and beans are a perfect example of vegetables that use up less space in your balcony.

The Best Time to Plant Your Winter Vegetables

Instead of planting all your vegetables at the same time, stagger them throughout the cold winter months and you will have a constant supply of fresh vegetables straight from your garden.

Want to Hire a Professional Gardener?

If you want the help of a gardening expert to grow winter veggies, head to Airtasker. You will find hundreds of skilled and experienced gardeners to help you create the perfect garden to grow winter vegetables. A professional gardener will also recommend the vegetables that grow in your climate and the best time to plant them.

Winter Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

Welcome to the Winter Vegetable Garden Planting Guide.

Winter is a slower time of the year in the garden, but is a still great time for the planting vegetables that like the colder conditions. Broad beans, peas, cabbage, spinach and turnips are all frost resistant.

The following Winter planting guide is for the Melbourne area and surrounds, where the climate is referred to as being temperate.

If you’d like some assistance with the maintenance or replanting of your vegetable garden, or perhaps some new garden beds, Yummy Gardens are more than happy to help.

Contact us with your enquiry, or call 0431 382 230.

Winter Planting

Months marked in green are suitable for planting any of the following vegetables.





Artichoke (globe)
Broad Bean
Jerusalem Artichoke
Kohl Rabi
Mustard Greens
Rhubarb (crowns)
Snow Peas
Spring Onion

To Yummy Gardens Home from Winter Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

More Planting Guides from Winter Planting Guide

Heavenly Greens Blog

Looking for winter vegetables to grow in California during the drought? There are plenty to choose from. Even though there are drought conditions causing water usage to be restricted, you can still grow a bountiful garden. Many vegetables are tolerant to drier conditions and will thrive with little irrigation. Vegetables that thrive in drought conditions will grow much faster and be ready for harvesting much sooner. In fact, there a few vegetables that grow so quickly that if planted at different intervals, will allow the gardener to harvest the produce several times during the season.


Greens are easily grown and highly nutritious, many containing trace elements and an abundance of Vitamin C and K. Collard greens, kale, arugula, spinach, mustard and Swiss chard are just a few of the leafy greens that can be easily grown in a California garden. Leafy greens are excellent for salads, wraps and sandwiches and can also be added to many dishes for a touch of rich, green color. If you are tired of using the same old lettuce or spinach in your salads or on your sandwiches, try growing a few different varieties. Maybe you will find a few new favorites.


Next on the list is root crops. Because their roots dive deep into the soil, they do not have to use moisture from the surface to produce full, nutritious, ripened vegetables. Potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, garlic and onions are all grown under the surface of the soil. Not only doe they draw their water from the soil, they also take in a wealth of nutrients as well. Selenium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium are found in soil in varying amounts. Root vegetables will continue to pull nutrients from the soil as long as they remain in the ground. Once they are harvested, however, they tend to lose them rather rapidly.


Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, celery and peas are a few other common vegetables that often find their way into California gardens. Like the other vegetables listed, they are somewhat easy to grow and require little in the way of maintenance. Peas will grow rather quickly and if planted a couple of weeks apart, may allow you to gain a double helping. Many of these vegetables can be stored for later use if the proper methods are used. Steaming and then freezing is a good way to keep broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Protecting Your Produce

It is important to keep your garden free of weeds and other debris so that wild animals are less likely to come in and steal your produce. Rabbits, deer, raccoons and opossums are well known garden hunters and will quickly destroy a garden if left unattended. If you have the resources and are serious about keeping invaders out of your garden, you may want to put up a small fence. To keep out the smaller animals, you may have to put the fence close to the ground. One way to keep deer and larger animals out of the garden is to visit your local barber or beauty shop and ask for a bag of hair clippings. Because the hair smells like humans, many animals will avoid the area. The hair will eventually break down and act as a sort of fertilizer to help the plants grow.

Getting winter vegetables to grow in a dry climate does not have to be a chore. Many people look at gardening as a way to relax and eliminate the stress that accumulates throughout the day. With the right plants, you can grow a beautiful garden any time of year that will actually save you money on your monthly food bill.

The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Winter

1. Cabbage

Time to head to the cabbage patch, kid! This super-healthy, budget-friendly vegetable is a close cousin to other cold-weather favorites like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli. Cabbage is loaded with vitamins and minerals (Vitamins C and K and folate, in particular), fiber, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic compounds called glucosinolates. Some studies claim that the spherical vegetable can even reduce cholesterol and lower risk of cancer and diabetes.

  • Peak Season: While some strains of cabbage are available starting in July, most varieties love cool weather and are ready for harvest through the fall and winter.
  • Storage Tips: Tightly wrap individual heads of cabbage in plastic and stash in the refrigerator to keep ‘em fresh for up to a week.
  • How to Eat It: Cabbage’s nutritional benefits are most pronounced when raw, so slice up a few leaves to add crunch to salads or stir fries.

2. Brussels sprouts

These trendy sprouts are finally getting their turn in the spotlight. The Brussels sprout, aka cabbage’s mini-me, boasts some of the same health benefits as it’s big bro. Like other cruciferous veggies, Brussels sprouts have high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants that can protect DNA from oxidative damage.

  • Peak Season: September through February
  • Storage Tips: Brussels sprouts will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. The outer leaves will shrivel, so remove them just before cooking your sprouts.
  • How to Eat It: Toss halved sprouts with olive oil and roast until crispy and brown. Top with a light coating of brown butter and sage for a decadent (but still healthy) side dish.

3. Winter squash

Get ready to taste the gourdy goodness! Acorn, butternut, kabocha, and delicata squash are all at their prime during the fall and winter. Golden squash flesh is loaded with healthy goodness like carotenoids, Vitamin A, and potassium.

  • Peak Season: Winter squash hit the markets around late September and stick around through early March.
  • Storage Tips: Even though they seem pretty solid, squash continue to ripen once they’re picked. Slow down the process by storing them in a cool, slightly humid environment (like, say, a basement or cellar). Under the right conditions, squash will keep for up to three months.
  • How to Eat It: Since squash is healthy, fairly inexpensive, filling, and darn tasty, it’s no wonder there are thousands of awesome recipes for them. Get started with these five delicious dishes.

4. Potatoes

Spuds get a bad rap, but they’re a staple food in many cuisines for good reason. Sure, potatoes are starchy and high on the glycemic index, but they’re also filling, inexpensive, and boast an impressive nutritional profile including potassium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, and even protein. Fancy purple taters may even help lower blood pressure and boost antioxidants. While sweet potatoes are considered a healthier choice (since they’re loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber), regular old white spuds are still nutritious as long as you don’t fry ‘em or mash them with tons of butter and cream.

  • Peak Season: Various varieties of potatoes are available year-round.
  • Storage Tips: Store potatoes in a dark, cool, well-ventilated area for about one month. Keep spuds away from onions and apples. At room temperature, potatoes will keep for one to two weeks.
  • How to Eat It: Try a healthier take on the classic baked potato bar. Twice-baked spuds stuffed with kale, broccoli, and cheddar make for a tasty and comforting meal.

5. Onions

Ideal for flavoring anything from soup, to grain salads, to pasta, to meat, onions are a year-round kitchen all-star. They might make you cry, but onions are actually pretty healthy. The unassuming veggies are low in calories but surprisingly high in vitamin C and fiber. The oils found in onions can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

  • Peak Season: Various types of onions are available all year round.
  • Storage Tips: Stash onions outside the fridge (they can go soft if refrigerated) in a cool, dry place for several months.
  • How to Eat It: Sautéed white onion jazzes up this fig, ricotta, and arugula flatbread pizza.

6. Beets

Sweet, earthy, and deep red, beets are pretty unique in the vegetable aisle. Beets contain antioxidants called betalains, which can help fight cancer and other degenerative diseases. They’re also rich in vitamins A, B, C as well as potassium and folate. They’re also a natural source of sugar (about nine grams per serving), so those looking to cut down on sweet stuff should take note. Not bad for a bright-red bulb, right?

  • Peak Season: Beets are available early spring through late fall.
  • Storage Tips: Store beet roots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  • How to Eat It: Toss roasted beets and carrots with lentils and plenty of fresh herbs and spices to make a hearty, healthy vegetarian main dish.

7. Celeriac

Celeriac is probably the ugly duckling of winter produce. It looks like a misshapen, greenish-white blob covered in little roots. Appetizing, right? But beyond the odd exterior, celeriac boasts a tasty, subtle flavor — somewhere between parsley and celery — and a hearty texture. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant) and phosphorus (which contributes to strong bones and teeth).

  • Peak Season: September through March.
  • Storage Tips: Like other root veggies, celeriac will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a month.
  • How to Eat It: Sub in celeriac for almost any root vegetable. Cube and sautée it for a tasty, healthy substitute for hash browns.

8. Carrots

Did your mom ever tell you to eat carrots for healthy eyes? Bugs Bunny’s favorite food is loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene, a compound that converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for a strong immune system and healthy eyes, skin, and mucus membranes. The orange veggies are also loaded with vitamin C, cyanidins, and lutein, which are all antioxidants. Some studies show that eating carrots can reduce risk of cancer and even prevent cardiovascular disease.

  • Peak Season: Available through late fall, although some varieties are harvested through the winter.
  • Storage Tips: Like many root vegetables, carrots will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several weeks.
  • How to Eat It: Bring out carrots’ natural sweetness with a side dish that combines the orange veggies, cinnamon, orange juice, and maple syrup.

9. Turnips and rutabagas

These purple-and-white bulbs might look like potatoes, but they’re actually related to cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Confused yet? Perhaps because of this oh-so-confusing identity crisis, turnips and rutabagas are often (unfortunately) overlooked in the produce aisle. But they boast the same nutritional perks as other cruciferous veggies (namely cancer-fighting glucosinolates, vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, fiber, and calcium), plus their slightly sweet taste is a boon to nearly any dish.

  • Peak Season: Available all winter long.
  • Storage Tips: Keep turnips and rutabagas in the fridge for a few weeks or in a root cellar for several months.
  • How to Eat It: What’s cheesy, gooey, and surprisingly good for you? A lightened-up simple turnip gratin! Rutabagas can be subbed in for any dish that calls for turnips.

10. Parsnips

These (white) carrot look-alikes are packed with nutritional goodness. The long, pale, tapered root veggies are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folate. Like carrots, they have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor that goes well with nearly any winter soup, stew, or casserole. Half a cup of cooked ‘snips contains 17 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and just 55 calories.

  • Peak Season: Parsnips are at their best in the late fall and early spring.
  • Storage Tips: Store parsnips in a bag in the refrigerator for three to four weeks.
  • How to Eat It: Combine roasted parsnips with Granny Smith apples (and a few other essential ingredients) for a smooth, fall-flavored soup.

11. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes might win the award for “Most Versatile Tuber.” These orange-hued delights are loaded with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Plus, since they’re fairly low on the glycemic index, they’re great for filling up without getting weighed down.

  • Peak Season: Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but they’re best in the fall.
  • Storage Tips: Keep sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place outside the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • How to Eat It: It wouldn’t be fair to pick one of these 45 sweet potato recipes and not try the rest. Pro tip: Sweet potato brownies are a thing.

12. Raddicio

Besides being one of the most fun words in the English language, radicchio (pronounced ra-DIK-kio) is a member of the chicory family along with endive and escarole. Its red and white, slightly spicy and bitter leaves are loaded with vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K. Plus, this leafy veg is extremely low in calories, so add it to any dish for a low-cal dose of crunch and flavor.

  • Peak Season: There are three main varieties of radicchio available in the U.S., Chiogga, Treviso, and Tardivo. Tardivo radicchio is available throughout the winter.
  • Storage Tips: Keep it in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to three weeks.
  • How to Eat It: Sautéed radicchio adds a kick (and a nice serving of vitamins and minerals) to this easy pasta dish.

It may be cold, but many crops survive the chilly nights to produce some of my favorite fruits and vegetables out of the year. From delicious butternut squash and sweet clementines to crunchy kale, these seasonal fruits and vegetables offer a myriad of nutritional benefits.

Kale may be the healthy hipster foodie’s leafy green of choice, but the hype is well deserved. A great source of vitamin A, which supports eye health, kale also contains calcium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of kale also contains nearly 3 grams of protein.


A variety of mandarin oranges, clementines are easier to peel than oranges, making a perfect on-the-go option. While many people use clementines and tangerines interchangeably, they’re actually different fruits—but both are part of the mandarin family. And like oranges and other citrus fruits, clementines are a great source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant.

Brussels Sprout

A member of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are small but mighty. One cup has only 38 calories. It also contains 3.3 g of fiber and 3 g of protein, along with vitamins A, C, and B6, which supports immune health.

Winter Squash

Winter squash, includes butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, acorn, and more. They are normally harvested in the fall, but they are sold through the cooler months. Different varieties contain different nutrients; butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and acorn squash is good source of vitamin B6.


Considered a “superfood” (though that’s really a marketing term with no regulated definition), pomegranates originated in modern Iran and India. The arils, which include the seeds and juice, are a good source of fiber, with 3.5 g per half-cup.

Sweet Potato

A beta-Carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) powerhouse, a cup of sweet potatoes contains more than 377 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, which supports eye health. It also contains 4 g of protein, iron, and some calcium.

So the next time you try to figure out what to eat for dinner on a cool, winter night, you know you have a bunch of fruits and vegetables from which to pick.

Winter is for cuddling up in warm clothes by the bonfire. See what winter fruits and vegetables are in season, get the best deals, and try something new!

Fruits & Vegetables in Season in the Winter

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Winter can seem like it will never end. It’s cold and it gets dark so early! Add in the rain/snow/ice and cold wintry winds, and it can make for a dreary season. It also seems like there aren’t many fresh fruits and vegetables in season this time of year. But check out this list – there are tons of fresh fruits and vegetables that are just coming into season now!

What Fruits & Vegetables Are In Season in the Winter?

OK, so citrus comes to mind as something that’s in season in the winter… but what else could there be? In the United States, December, January, and February are considered the winter months. This is the list of fruits and vegetables that are considered “in season” in the winter.

Do you want a free printable version of this list to take with you to the grocery store? Click here to get one!

Once you have all your fresh produce home, don’t let it go to waste! Be sure you know how to store fruits and vegetables properly to keep them fresh. I love containers like these Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Savers to keep my fruits and veggies fresh, and keep my refrigerator organized.

Are you looking for a different season? Find out what fruits and vegetables are in season in the spring, in the summer, in the fall, or all year.

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable to enjoy in the winter?


3 Ways to Take the Fear Out of Your Kitchen

  • How to Store Fresh Produce
  • How to Wash Fresh Produce
  • What’s the Difference Between Fruits & Vegetables?

3 Recipes to Try

  • Harvest Sausage & Sweet Potato Bake
  • Citrus-Herb Marinated Chicken
  • Sweet Potato Casserole

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