Winter gardening is summer planting for winter harvest. In our mild Coastal climate we can grow some vegetables all winter without protection. You can eat these plants throughout the winter, so they need to be full size by about Halloween. Until Valentines Day, plants grow very slowly and do not re-grow after harvest as they might in the summer. The greatest challenges are rain, low light levels and temperature swings.
Plant your winter harvest garden by mid August.
Start small and start the most sure-fire winter crops. Try planting 2 or 3 from this list:
- Mid-May to early June: start Leeks and Brussels sprouts
- June and early July: winter Cabbages
- Mid-July to early August: Kale, Swiss chard, Radicchio
- Mid-August: Spinach, Mache
Many leafy vegetables like lettuce, kale, salad greens and Oriental vegetables are perfectly suited for winter harvests.
See also “Overwintering.”