Winter vegetables

In the Southeastern U.S., we're blessed with plenty of winter sunshine (at least compared to Northern and Central Europe and Northern Asia) -- I need to check corresponding parallels in Asia, to be sure, actually.

And our winter temperatures aren't so bad either, being much more moderate than the Northeastern U.S. We often experience relatively mild winters, although it's variable, and more recently, even more so.

In the mountains of N.C., we're Zone 6, but have only had a light frost so far, which even romaine lettuce of unknown hardiness (transplants from a big box store) sailed through.  With predictions of 28°F for next weekend,  I harvested all of the outside (lettuce) leaves this afternoon, and chard leaves of any decent size, and the arugula in that category, too, before heading down the 'hill' tomorrow.  I'm sure that the frost/freeze might not amount to much and the raised beds are plenty buffered by their stone walls, but I'd rather enjoy eating the greens than clean up the frost-bitten remnants on a later trip!

The young mesclun mix, kale, and mustard seedlings are on their own.  I'll be delighted to harvest any of them.  The parsley is looking great, too, so I'll probably cut quite a bit tomorrow morning, too.

At home in the Piedmont (Zone 7b), I've planted several beds of garlic, but need to tuck in a couple of more beds.  And I have flats of kale, arugula, and other greens to tend.

I'm planning for a winter vegetable garden experiment in one of our unheated houses at the Garden where I work.  Doesn't it seem like winter greens are a no-brainer?

Check this book out (The Winter Harvest Handbook by Elliot Coleman).  It's a fabulous guide (and inspiration) to what more of us should be doing.


  1. It is really amazing what you can do in the winter, with just a little plastic.

  2. We are pretty fortunate to have decent winter weather. I wouldn't mind a greenhouse! gail

  3. I'm going to be building a cold frame. Since our winters where I am aren't too cold, I'm hoping I can have our gardens covered throughout winter and garden right through winter.

    Jeff | Quality Garden Cloches


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