Some people “retire” from gardening during the winter months, but that’s the perfect opportunity for winter gardening. You can grow a variety of plants, including vegetables. If the notion of growing food in the winter at your apartment seems strange to you, consider these 4 common plants for winter gardening.
1 – Garlic
Garlic loves to grow in cool weather, and is perfect for winter gardening. You can plant as late as the middle of October. The great thing about garlic is that you can grow them in a window box. You don’t need an outside garden, but if you have access to one you can plant them in the ground. You can’t really transplant garlic, so plant where you plan to grow it until you harvest it. Garlic bulbs grow underground, as much as two feet. Garlic is a multi-use plant that you can use for food, medicinal purposes and as treatment for pets. It’s a perennial plant, so you once you get it going, it will grow again, year after year.
2 – Spinach
You can grow certain varieties of spinach in containers, and they work well for winter gardening. Spinach plants love shade and cold weather, but you have to be careful which ones you choose. Some spinach thrive in hot weather, so double check the description of the seeds or plants before you order them, or ask your local nursery. Spinach is ready to harvest any where between October and April, and they make a delicious addition to salads. You can plant multiple plants in one container pot, which will maximize a small gardening space. Pick leaves as they grow, and included them in lasagna, salads or other recipes.
3 – Kale
When writing a winter gardening plan, consider Kale. You can leave it outdoors in the coldest climate, like in Alaska, and nothing will happen to the plants. You can continue to harvest it throughout the winter, and if you decide you want more, you can grow more during the spring and summer months as well. You harvest Kale by picking the outside leaves. Add them to your favorite soups. You can harvest small and tender kale leaves for salads and other meals. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins, and will make a great addition to your diet.
4 – Collard Greens
You may prefer growing Collard Greens to Kale. The myth about collards is that they grow only in hot weather. That stems from the fact that collards are associated with southern cooking, where the climate is hot. You can grow collards very much like Kale, and as late as November. Experienced gardeners like collards for winter gardening, because they don’t get diseases like some other vegetables. You can include Collards in stir fry, or cook collards in stews.
These are just a few of the common plants you should consider for winter gardening. All of them can be grown in containers or window boxes, which is good news when you’re renting and want to grow your own vegetables.