12 Vegetables You Can Grow in Winter
A Guide to Planting and Harvesting Winter Vegetables
If winter grocery-store produce has you wishing for something fresh from the garden, consider this: you can grow a surprising number of vegetables throughout the winter in our moderate south coast BC maritime climate. Winter Salad Greens include arugula, bok choi, chicories, lettuce, mache, mustards and spinach. They grow slowly due to low light. Mulch well, and harvest as baby greens or braising mix.
Certain vegetables, like kale and Brussels sprouts, thrive in winter temperatures and actually become sweeter after a frost. Others, with mulch and season extension can usually make it through the winter, even when temperatures dip below freezing or snow stays on the ground for more than a day.Low light levels and cold will slow growth, so don’t expect to harvest as often as at other times of year. The trick is to plant a lot and make up in abundance for what the winter light cannot produce in size. For example, harvest winter greens as “baby salad greens” or braising mix, rather than expecting large heads.
Start planning in midsummer for your winter crops. Most vegetables (with the exception of leeks, which go in early) need to be planted by July or August to develop sufficiently before the cold sets in.
The guide below shows seed planting and harvest times for winter vegetables in southern maritime British Columbia.
Planting & Harvesting Winter Vegetables in South Coast BC
|Winter Vegetables||Planting Date||Harvest|
|Broccoli||June – July||Winter, Spring|
|Brussels Sprouts||May – June||Fall, Winter|
|Carrots||July – Aug||Fall, Winter|
|Chard||April – June||Fall, Winter|
|Collards||July – Aug||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|Kale||July – Aug||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|Leeks||April – May||Fall, Winter|
|Parsley/Parsley Root||April – Sept||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|Parsnips||May – July||Fall, Winter|
|Scallions||June – Aug||Fall, Winter|
|Winter Salad Greens:|
|Arugula||Aug – Sept||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|Bok Choi||Aug – Oct||Winter, Spring|
|Chicory (Radicchio)||June – July||Fall, Winter|
|Lettuce||July – Sept||Fall, Winter|
|Mache (Corn Salad)||Aug – Oct||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|Mustards||July – Aug||Fall, Winter|
|Spinach||July – Oct||Fall, Winter|