Christmas Vegetables

Growing outdoor vegetables in the winter can be done, and you can do it! Cold-season veggies are not an impossible goal. In fact, having a successful winter garden is much easier than you think. Some say it’s even more laid back than traditional gardening!

How to Grow Christmas Vegetables in Your Garden

Choose the Right Vegetables and Tools

The best edibles to grow in cold weather are hardy and strong. Leafy veggies, root veg, and brassicas are all fantastic Christmas vegetable choices. Aren’t sure what other edibles to choose? We can help you decide on the best Christmas vegetables to grow in your garden.

If you already have a wooden shed, you don’t have to worry about storing your tools for the winter. Just make sure to organize it before the cold weather hits. Only keep out what is necessary.

Protect Your Vegetables from Cold

This needs to be done before the first frost to prevent damage to your crop. Remember, the key to your garden’s survival in winter is this shelter. There are many different ways you can accomplish this, including a mini tunnel, straw-bale cold frames, and cloches.

Mulch

Mulching should be completed before the first frost. Root vegetables need to be covered with 2 feet of mulch. Afterward, cover the row with a sheet or cover to trap warmth. Keep this setup until you are ready to harvest.

How to Care for Your Winter Garden

Water Sparingly

Gardens in the winter get most of their water from the snow and rain. Additionally, the soil doesn’t dry out as fast. However, keep your eye on the weather and water if there has been a dry period. You can also check the dirt periodically and water when dry. When temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, do not water or else it will freeze the roots.

Fertilize Only Once

Make sure you fertilize the soil before you plant your vegetables. This is the one and only time you should do so. We recommend going organic. Some options are bone, cottonseed, and blood meal.

Harvest at the Correct Times

The easiest way to do this is to keep a journal of when you planted, how many days to maturation, and the date of harvest. That way, it will be easier for you to plan for next winter. Here is our list of when to pick the 3 major categories of Christmas vegetables:

Leafy Greens: Don’t wait until the leaves are full-sized or they will taste bitter. Instead, they are tastier when they are picked at a small or medium size.

Root Veg: These vegetables can be harvested anytime they look edible. We typically judge when to dig them up by how they look compared to the produce at the farmer’s market.

Brassicas: These harvest times are variable depending upon what type of brassicas vegetable you grow. However, they usually take between 10 and 15 weeks to mature.

Although it might seem unbelievable, you can grow your own vegetables for your Christmas meal. Stick with us to find out what you can grow, as well as how to grow Christmas vegetables that will impress your friends and family!

What Vegetables Can You Grow?

In the winter, there aren’t many plants that grow. That goes double for edible greenery! However, there are a few veggies that can withstand the cold. Some even thrive in the chilly weather! Here’s our list of Christmas vegetables.

Brussels Sprouts

A traditional Christmas veg, Brussel sprouts can be dressed and cooked in a number of ways. In order to get the best results, plant this iconic edible earlier in the season. We recommend April, and May at the latest. If you don’t know where to start, a popular variety is Trafalgar.

In the midst of any dry spells, keep your Brussels sprouts well watered. Any lean should be corrected with stakes to get the best results possible. We recommend caging in your sprouts with netting fine enough to keep out caterpillars. Not to mention pigeons!

In November, or as soon as the sprouts have multiple buttons, cut the tops off of the vegetable plant. That way, the energy will go toward ripening the plant’s veggies instead of increasing its height.

Parsnips

Who doesn’t have parsnips on their Holiday table? This is another veg that needs to be started in April. These roots need to spend the longest time underground of all of the veggies on this list. In order to keep away the slugs and snails, set beer traps around the whole garden. These pests will eat any and all of your winter vegetables.

In July, put soil on top of the parsnips. This will shield them from canker. In late October or early November, cover the parsnips with layers of straw. The goal is to keep the ground, and therefore the veg, from freezing. Two weeks before the big day, dig up your parsnips. Then, store them in the refrigerator to build the sweetness.

We recommend trying the Albion variety.

Cold-Stored Potatoes

This type of potato is much different from the typical root. The starchy warm-weather potatoes taste great in fat and savoury herbs. The cold-stored potato is a smaller, waxy variety that is usually boiled and paired with mint and butter. Try Carlingford.

Begin growing your potatoes in August. It won’t be quite as easy as growing in the summer, but knowing the dangers to your crop will help.

* Slugs are an issue this time of year, so grow in a sack or large pot. You can put 2 potatoes in a sack. They should have 15cm of compost underneath and 15 on top. Water them well and keep them in a sunny location. Provide as much shelter as possible.

* Potato blight can kill your crops before they even have a chance to get started. Since spores in the air cause blight, try to put your veg in a container you can cover. A great place is an unheated greenhouse.

* Make sure the roots get enough water. Protection from spores also means no natural watering.

* Frost is another deadly enemy. Once the tops look dead the vegetables are ready. However, don’t dig them out. Instead, cover them with horticultural fleece or another material that will keep the frost out until Christmas.

* To ensure a crop, plant more potatoes in September.

* In October, bring the sacks or containers indoors or into a working greenhouse.

Carrots, Turnips, And Beets

Your guests won’t be able to resist this colourful Holiday combination. At minimum, orange, red, and white combine to form a delectable, healthy cornucopia! At max, you’ll have multi-coloured carrots that liven up the whole table.

For beetroots, we recommend, purple Bolivar, Burpee’s Golden, and Barbabietola di Chioggia in a nice candy stripe. In terms of carrots, you can’t go wrong with Chantenay, Berlicum 2, or Autumn King. Turnips that work well this time of year are maincrop turnips and Milan Purple Top.

In order to plant this trio in time for a Christmas harvest, put them in containers in late July or early August. Don’t forget the compost! As they begin to grow, keep an eye out for carrot flies. This is a pest that loves to ruin your crop. Make sure you keep these root veggies well watered, and by mid-December you will have a healthy harvest.

In October, dig up and store some carrots. In most places, you can keep the carrots in the ground until you use them. Just in case, we recommend storing half of them in boxes of damp sand. Cover the whole carrot and they will stay good until Christmas. Make sure you twist off the green top before putting them into sand.

Chard And Kale

Sow chard and kale in May by planting seeds and keeping the pots on a warm windowsill. In June, you can harden them before planting them outdoors. You can do this by setting them outside during the day and bringing them back inside at night. Do this for 10 to 15 days so the chard and kale can get acclimatized.

After these days are up, plant them into neutral soil. If the soil tends one way, it should be alkaline. Additionally, use compost or fertilizer to enrich it. Leave at least 60cm between these veggies.

We recommend trying Dwarf Green Curled kale.

Rosemary And Sage

If you want to grow your own Christmas dinner rosemary and sage, plant the cuttings in April. Gritty compost is a great medium in which to plant the cuttings. Put in a warm windowsill until they root. Usually this happens around 6 weeks. Keep the compost just damp. After the first signs of new growth, re-pot in containers.

In June, go ahead and replant your sage and rosemary. You can do one of two things. First, you can put the hardiest outside in a sunny, well-draining area. Alternatively, plant them in pots. Just remember to use free-draining compost as the soil medium.

Leave a Reply

Endorsed by

60 Minute Makeover
Rushton Primary School
St Wenn School
Wey House School

See testimonials from our satisfied customers