Seasonal Gardening Guide: Winter Vegetables to Plant

winter vegetables in basket on a wood table

If you are thinking of tucking away your gardening tools for winter, then you are missing out on a lot of wonderful gardening treasures. Expert gardeners and green thumbs know that wintertime can also be a good time to plant luscious vegetables. Most vegetable greens are better planted during the cold seasons and can yield wonders. Besides, there are many things to love about winter gardening.

Colder winter weather means fewer pests for your crops and better preservation of the soil. Additionally, you can save a lot of money by keeping yourself self-sustainable during this season. We all know that prices skyrocket during this season since it’s near Christmas and Thanksgiving. If that didn’t convince you yet, then if you just want to keep yourself occupied during this cold season, winter gardening is the perfect activity for you.

Let us guide you on how to get started in your winter vegetable gardening journey!

How To Prepare your Seasonal Vegetable Garden for Winter

It is essential to prepare your garden for winter so that you get the yield that you want. As they say, better start planning your winter to enjoy the luscious greens. Here are some important tips for preparing your garden for winter.

  1. Install necessary protection for your winter garden! You can choose from making your greenhouse, installing cold frames, or making polytunnels that will ensure your winter crops will be protected.
  2. Make sure you have your essential tools for winter gardening such as forks, trowels, and hoes that can dig into that cold layer of soil.
  3. Plan what you want to plant and layout your vegetables according to your space.
  4. The most important step is to remove rocks and other clumps in your soil before planting your seeds. Make sure to add a layer of compost and mix it with the soil to ensure healthier crops during wintertime.

What To Plant in your Winter Vegetable Garden

Now that we got you covered in preparing your winter garden, we bring you some of the easiest vegetables to grow in winter. As we said, some vegetables are in love with the cold temperatures of winter and yield generously.

Here are some of the beloved winter vegetables you can start planting this cold season:


One of the easiest greens to grow this wintertime is lettuce. It is also a vegetable that keeps on growing for just 6 to 14 weeks. Just make sure to regularly pick the leaves before freezing to maximize your yield.


Another easy vegetable to plant is arugula. It can be harvested in about 30 to 40 days and can be sheared when it reaches 4 inches in height.


Kale is also a winter favorite for many gardeners. You can choose a variety of kales to plant and they will be ready to harvest in just 4 weeks. But we suggest you try the curly-leafed kale variety since its leaves turn a lot sweeter in the frost.

Snow Peas/Peas:

This vegetable surely loves the cool season and also loves to climb. It can be harvested in about 9 to 11 weeks. A good addition to your winter garden favorites.


Beloved for its rich flavor, this winter vegetable is gaining popularity lately due to the keto diet. Cauliflower also provides a good harvest but make sure to protect it from frost and water at the stalk only.


A crowd favorite! Carrots are sturdy and foolproof from the coldness of winter. Winter carrots are said to turn sweeter due to the cold weather and provide a treat after 60 days.

How To Start Seeds for your Winter Vegetable Garden

After choosing the variety of winter vegetables for your garden, it’s time now to think about your seeds. There are two ways to get your seeds, you can either get seed packets or buy seedlings if you do not have much time. Most winter vegetables are planted directly on the bed while others need to be transplanted around mid-summer to early autumn. Easier seeds to be sown include lettuces, kales, and arugula. However, take note that some vegetables need to be prepared for the cold winter months or in advance like carrots. But ultimately, just make sure that you get your seeds ready for sowing and planted just in time for the cold season harvest.

How To Plant Your Winter Vegetable Garden

Winter vegetables need to have at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight in a day. This means you must layout your garden efficiently to help them absorb enough sunlight to grow. If you have a smaller space for your garden, then a keyhole gardening layout might be for you. With only 4 ft of space, you can position three rows making a U-shape for easier access and maintenance. For bigger garden spaces, you can opt for a rows garden layout but still keep the 4 ft wide beds for easier gardening.

Whatever gardening layout you choose, make sure that you have prepared your garden accordingly for the harsh conditions of winter. Be sure to follow the preparation steps before planting your winter garden.

How and When to Harvest your Winter Vegetable Garden

Winter vegetables can be harvested at different times. For most luscious greens, it’s much easier to tell when to harvest. A good example is harvesting lettuces, kale, and arugula, it takes just about 4 weeks or more and you can see the leaves ready for harvest. For these winter vegetables, shearing them and just getting the right amount you need is a good start. While other winter vegetables take a lot more time like cauliflower, carrots, and the like. Be sure to check regularly to gauge whether your vegetables are ready for harvest.

Winter Specific Things to Remember When Planning and Working in your Vegetable Garden

Winter weather is unpredictable and can be much harsher for your vegetables. The most important thing is to plan and prepare your garden for the worst. By doing this, you can protect your crops and get a good yield for the season. Finally, protect yourself while gardening by using protective gear such as thermal gardening gloves.

Bottom Line

Whether you are just starting your seasonal gardening journey or a novice in this field, you should try winter gardening. We know that gardening in winter sure has its challenges but there are much more benefits in doing so. Just imagine enjoying a variety of winter vegetables in the comfort of your home.

For the best results in seasonal winter gardening, make sure to follow this guide to help you grow your vegetables. What are you waiting for? Start digging!