Amateur gardeners often look forward to spring and summer, since those seasons are commonly associated with fresh fruits and veggies. But you can actually enjoy delicious produce from your own garden in the winter as well. The trick is knowing which veggies will thrive in cooler weather, and making sure you provide the right environment for them to flourish.
An added benefit of growing your own vegetables is that you know what you’re eating! For families who are dedicated to eating organic foods, you can be sure that your food is safe and wholesome. Winter vegetables are a wonderfully convenient as well. There’s nothing quite as easy as picking lettuce right before dinner! You can’t get much fresher or faster than that.
Some winter vegetables that will thrive in our climate include:
Kale, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, lettuce, peas, spinach, winter squash, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions, chives, and many more!
We rarely experience severe frosts here in Southern California, so you won’t have to worry too much about the temperature dipping too low. But since overly cold weather can kill your plants, the trick is to plant your veggies in time to allow them to grow to maturity before the coldest weather strikes.
If you’re worried about a freak cold snap, you can actually protect your plants from cold weather by utilizing windbreaks and walls. Using a south-facing wall is often ideal, because this placement allows your plants to reap the full benefits of the sun. Raised beds also provide warmer soil than surrounding areas, and can make the difference in a healthy harvest.
As always, remember to water your plants regularly according to their individual needs. Use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and insulate the roots of your plants.
Each year, rotate your crops. Don’t plant the same veggies in the same spots, because you will deprive the soil of nutrients each plant specifically needs. Rotating your crops will help to ensure that a healthy balance of nutrients remains in the soil.
If you have any questions about winter vegetables, give us a call or stop by our nursery. As always, plant the veggies your family enjoys most, and you’ll enjoy fresh and delicious produce all winter long.