10 Things to Plant in the Fall and Grow through the Winter
Updated: Jun 10
Around September or October, many people resign themselves to the end of the growing season until the next Spring. However, fall and winter do not have to be devoid of garden-fresh veggies! There are actually many vegetables that THRIVE in the cooler weather fall brings! Many veggies can actually survive into the winter season if properly cared for!
Note: If you live in a climate with heavy snow, you may not be able to grow some of these plants. While these plants are cold-tolerant, most will not survive more than a day under a few inches of snow. Cold frames are an excellent way to extend your growing season, but the snow must be continuously cleared off, so that light can get to the plant. Here is a good cold frame. I would encourage you to experiment, and see what does well in your garden!
Here are 10 plants that do well in my Fall and Winter garden:
Carrots are very cold tolerant, and if you live in a moderate climate (minimal snow), they can actually also be planted in the fall and grow during the winter. Carrots tend to actually be sweeter when they’re grown in the cold. The plant drives more energy into the root during cold weather, producing a sweet, delicious carrot! Here are my favorite carrot seeds.
Kale does not do well in the heat! These plants thrive in cool weather! They do well in the fall and can be overwintered if you live in a mild climate or cover them. Kale is very pest-prone, so fall is the best time to plant these, as pests are much less abundant. If kale sits under a few inches of snow for a few days, it will burn (for lack of a better word). For that reason, if you get snow in your area, I would recommend covering your kale. Here’s an excellent cold frame.
Spinach is definitely a cold-hardy plant! I’ve had spinach leaves grow as large as my whole hand in the fall! Just like kale, spinach needs to be covered so that if it snows, it does not die.
Lettuce can do well in the summer, depending on the variety you plant. However, most lettuce varieties begin to wilt in the summer and/or get really bitter. I prefer to plant my lettuce in the late summer, and enjoy it through the fall and winter while it’s crispy and sweet! My personal favorite variety is Buttercruch lettuce. Again lettuce will die if it sits under a few inches of snow for several days. It requires a cold frame.
Beets, like carrots, are root vegetables so they do well in the cold. Like carrots, cold weather makes the plant drive its energy to the root, producing yummy, sweet beets!
Cabbage is another vegetable that is very prone to pests. It can be grown in the summer, however, it can be difficult to keep it alive long enough to harvest after the bugs come out. It’s also cold-tolerant and can stand a few light frosts.
Broccoli can be a tricky vegetable to grow. It’s a slow grower, and very pest-prone, so oftentimes, if planted in the summer, the pests will get to it before it produces any broccoli. Broccoli is a brassica, so it is cold-tolerant and can be planted in the late summer to be enjoyed in the fall or winter.
If you thought Broccoli was tricky, meet Cauliflower! Cauliflower is very similar to broccoli, except for the white or purple head it produces. In the summer, with all the pests, the white beautiful cauliflower heads can turn a weird brown/yellow color and be small and bitter. Like broccoli, plant this brassica in the fall to avoid pests.
Onions are one of my favorite vegetables to grow. These veggies can tolerate a light frost, so they are great to grow in the fall and winter! Onions are a staple in my house, so I like to grow a lot, and then store them to eat all year!
Sweet peas, snap peas, and snow peas are my personal favorite crop to grow in the spring! I grow these every year for an early yield and they’re like a sweet, crispy greeting from spring! They’re great eaten straight off the plant in the garden, mixed into salads, on a charcuterie board, or if you let them get bigger, shell the peas, and have regular old peas as a side dish.
And that's it! 10 veggies to plant in your fall and winter garden! I absolutely love having access to fresh veggies all throughout the winter.
Want to learn more? Check out my Year-round gardening calendar!
What are your favorite veggies to grow during the fall and winter? Let me know in the comments!