The recent weather might have been dark and gloomy, but that doesn’t have to mean you need to stop growing the things you love in your garden. There are a number of vegetables that are perfectly hardy enough to withstand the winter weather, and they are easy to grow, too! Most of these will be strong enough to cope in the cold weather, but if you are worried about the morning winter frosts, a simple layer of fleece over the top of the plants will protect them sufficiently! If you are lacking inspiration of which vegetables to grow in your garden this winter, this guide could help!
1. Onions and Shallots
Many British favourite recipes require onions throughout the whole year, meaning onions are a great crop to have growing in your garden as they will be readily available to cook with. They may take a long time to grow until they are ready to harvest, but they are very low maintenance and will require very little looking after.
2. Perpetual Spinach
The sooner you get this planted, the better! It is a fantastic crop to grow as it grows back very quickly again after you have cut it for harvest. It will require regular harvesting if you wish for it to last through until Summer, but that does mean you have plenty of nutritious and tasty leafy spinach to add to your winter recipes.
If you want immediate results, asparagus may not be the crop to plant. However, if you want a long-lasting crop, this is perfect. They may take up to a few years to fully establish and two years before you can harvest them properly, but after this an asparagus crown can yield around 25 heads per year and can last for just as many years. The wait will definitely be worth it when you taste your own fresh asparagus for the first time!
Garlic is one of the easiest crops to grow over the winter, and, as so many recipes involve garlic, it is incredibly useful, too! Like onions, they also have a long growing season which means it is unlikely that they will be ready for harvest before next summer. However, there is nothing quite like the distinctive taste of home-grown garlic, so the wait is definitely worthwhile!
The sweet freshness of homegrown peas is hard to beat, and yours will be the talk of the table as early as Spring if you plant them now! You should choose the hardier varieties, such as Pea ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ or Pea ‘Meteor’ to ensure that they withstand the cold if you don’t have a greenhouse to move the peas into in the case of snow. Planting them now means that you will likely get around a month’s head start on harvesting them compared to others.
Growing vegetables over winter, especially these plants that require very little maintenance, is worth the effort that you do put it when you taste your delicious produce a couple of months later.