5 Types of Short-term Plants That Can Grow Healthy in Winter

By Louis Nguyen

Author bio: Louis Nguyen is an article writer. After a long time with the COVID-19 epidemic, he spent time researching and setting up his small garden.

Winter is coming, but your food stock is slowly running out. Or you want to keep gardening in the winter to add mor e excitement to your gardening work. You simply want the ecosystem in the soil to be maintained for the spring crop. Or you have just learned about gardening and have prepared to enter the field, but it is late autumn. Planting trees in the winter must be a relatively difficult job. Because the weather is not favorable for plants to grow and you are also afraid to stay out in the garden for a long time in cold weather.

To make it easier for you to grow vegetables in the winter, we have compiled 5 short-term plants that can grow healthy in the winter. They can grow fast and be harvested in just a few weeks. You just need to choose the plants that you love. A little knowledge to care for and prepare nutrients for plants throughout the winter. There are also vegetables that can grow indoors or in a greenhouse in the winter. But, here we will discuss growing vegetables in your garden.

Lettuce

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Although you will eat less salad in the winter, adding green vegetables to your daily diet helps you maintain a healthy body. Freeze-tolerant lettuce can withstand frost and grow in low light. It is also a short-term vegetable and easy to grow.

Harvest time:
About 30 to 70 days after planting.
Sowing time:
Lettuce can be sown between August and November. Because the growth period is short, you can plant for 2-3 weeks per planting period to have vegetables throughout the winter.
How to plant and care:
Seedlings should be covered to keep them warm and avoid frost. Raised garden beds and tunnel systems can be used to protect seedlings as well as plant lettuce seeds over the winter.
Plant mature lettuce in a sunny area with good rain cover and drainage. It is recommended to plant about 20–25 cm apart, depending on the size of the lettuce.
If you live in a temperate climate, you don't have to worry about lettuce growing throughout the winter. But, in areas with heavy snowfall and the prolonged cold, Put the lettuce in the raised bed garden, then cover the tunnel with a cloth to protect the plants. Then, cover the plants with straw or dry leaves to keep them warm.

Arugula

Arugula

Arugula is a cold-tolerant plant. With a few frost protection measures, you can successfully grow Arugula in winter. Arugula can grow in a variety of conditions; they only reduce growth when the ground is frozen. Besides, the time to harvest arugula vegetables is also long. So you completely control the source of clean vegetables for the whole family.

Harvest time:
About 30 to 45 days after sowing.
Sowing Season:
Arugula can be grown all year. But in winter, you should plant before the last frost date.
How to plant and care:
Arugula vegetables are not picky about growing space. Even with a larger area, the canopy will grow better and produce more leaves. You can plant at a distance of 9 to 16 plants per square meter. If you plant it in a sunny area, the plant will produce more leaves. When the amount of light is lower, the plant will produce fewer leaves. You can grow them in raised garden beds, containers, or pots. Since they have shallow roots, you can prepare the soil about 6–8 inches high. Using a cold cloth or cold frame will protect your small arugula seedlings from frost damage.

Radish

Radish

Radishes are one of the fastest and easiest plants you can grow. This plant prefers cold weather to warm sunshine. If you want to host a hearty Christmas party using homegrown plants, or if you want to start growing radishes in your garden,

Harvest time:
About 30 to 45 days after sowing
Sowing time:
You should sow radish seeds in early or mid-November.
How to plant and care:
Prepare the planting bed with a 50/50 mix of soil and compost. Fill with at least 6 inches of soil and proceed with seeding. The seeds should not be sown too thickly so that the roots can develop smoothly. Cover the bed with a tunnel of fabric or a canopy. If the weather is too cold, add mulch or use lights to warm the seedlings and encourage growth.

Kale

Kale

Kale is a simple plant that tolerates cold well.Kale can be grown in spring and fall but is best in winter. Because the starch molecules in the plant turn into sugar molecules when the weather is cold. Kale will be sweeter and more fragrant. However, in order to get winter-harvested kale, you must plant earlier crops. Then the plants mature and harvest throughout the winter. There are many varieties of kale that can be grown in the winter. 

  • Winterbor Kale: Aptly named, this kale hybrid is extremely frost-tolerant. Harvest its shaggy green young leaves to make salads. When winter comes, the larger leaves are perfect for adding to soups, stews, and stir-fries.
  • Dwarf Blue Curled Kale: This is a variety that goes by many names, such as Scotch Kale, Vates Kale, or Blue Scotch Curled. This variety is great for making French fries and is the most common variety found at grocery stores. Low-growing, this variety also does well in containers and is especially sweet after a little frost.
  • True Siberian Varieties: With large, pleated, blue leaves, this cultivar is fast-growing and can often be harvested all winter in milder climates.
  • Redbor: A hybrid with chestnut-colored, curly leaves that are at their peak in the fall and cold-tolerant.
  • Russian Red: Very cold-tolerant, this variety can last all winter in some climates. With flat green leaves and purple-y-violet stems and veins, color and flavor are improved with frost.
  • Scarlet Kale: This is a variety that really blooms when the temperature drops, with its deep red leaves deepening and its flavor becoming sweeter. While some people may choose to keep this for ornamental purposes, it is also perfectly edible.
  • Dwarf Green Curled: A cold-hardy variety that also does well in containers due to its compact size.

Harvest time:
Kale produces a harvest between 55 and 75 days after sowing. Harvest time varies according to variety.
Sowing time:
The best time to plant kale for the winter harvest is from late July to early August. In warmer areas, it is possible to plant in September.
How to plant and care:
Kale grows best in full sun and in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. To give the plants enough room to grow, sow the seeds 12 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Adding mulch with straw, sawdust, or mulch after the first frost will help keep the plant warm. For areas with colder and harsher climates, keep the kale warm with a fabric or plastic tunnel.

Snow Peas 

Snow Peas

Snow peas have fairly hard seeds and can germinate even in frozen soil. Seedlings can also easily get through the first few nights of frost without mulch. This is the king of winter vegetables.

Harvest time:
About 65 days after sowing, you can start harvesting the first snow peas.
Sowing time:
Plants are best planted in late winter, about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Depending on where you live, update your garden's weather conditions.
How to plant and care:
The best method for growing snow peas is to sow them directly in a container or raised bed. The soil for snow peas should be rich in nutrients, well-drained, and get plenty of sunlight. Sow the snow pea seeds 1 to 1-½ inches deep and 1 inch apart.

Read more: 6 Recommended Vegetables That Are Sweeter After Frosting in Garden Bed.

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