Is the late fall and early winter the end for your lovely garden full of greens? Not necessarily. There are plenty of fall and winter green crops that you can sow now and eat throughout the winter, especially if you live in a moderate climate or have a cold frame available.
Tuck your greens into a cold frame, and you’ll have good things to eat even as the weather turns cold. If you’re feeling the cold already, you might want to consider growing your greens in an indoor window box. Growing greens in the fall and winter gives you a feeling of accomplishment that you just don’t get in the easier spring and summer months, so leap on in and try and be sure to track your results in your garden journal!
Don’t have a lot of space to garden, or may you think you have no space at all? Chris McLaughlin’s book
Oh, kale. It’s one of the most famous winter greens. If you live in a cooler climate, you may have already passed the window for planting this dark and nutritious vegetable, but if it’s still warm where you are, plant away. Eat your kale all winter and into the springtime. It will even survive under the snow.
Fall is a good time to grow small greens for salads. Mustard greens are good when they grow up, when I like to use them as a spicy element in a stir fry. They’re equally delicious as a tiny green in a salad mix in the fall. Sow mustards with cress seeds for a peppery fall mix.
Lettuce seems like it would be too delicate to withstand the cold, but it’s a tricky one. While some lettuces dislike the fall and winter chill, others such as Rouge d’Hiver are marketed specifically as fall and winter lettuces. These greens do appreciate the warmth of a cold frame or cloche. Since many of the other greens on our fall and winter list have a lot of flavor, these quieter greens are a good complement.
Can you remember way back to the spring time, when you were looking for quick crops that were cold-hardy? Many of these crops are good in the fall as well. Mizuna has a delicate-looking leaf, but don’t be fooled – it’s tough. These plants are good when small and will grow to be long and leggy as well. They have a more moderate flavor than arugula and mustard greens.
This green is a spicy one that’s good in sandwiches and slipped into a salad for interest. It comes in both annual and perennial varieties. Sow the annual Rucola in the fall for winter greens, or sow the perennial Sylvetta to enjoy arugula all year round.
Have you planted anything this fall? Will you?
Fall Gardening Tips and Resources
- Fall Gardening 101 – Five Little Homesteaders
- 14 Vegetables for Your Fall Garden – Living the Country Life
- Plant a Last-Minute Fall Garden – The Daily Green