vegetables to grow during winter

3 vegetables to grow during winter

Winter is coming and you are wondering which vegetables you will grow to enjoy at the end of this cold period? Don’t worry! Discover here three succulent vegetables that always get through the winter without difficulty.

3 winter vegetables to grow: Cabbage, Endives and Scarole

Winter is notoriously harsh and most plants cannot thrive. However, there are some vegetables that are hardy enough to keep you and your garden happy through the next winter. These winter vegetables to grow include cabbage, endive and escarole. Find out how to grow these 3 winter vegetables.

Taking care of cabbages

Cabbages are known to be vitamin-rich vegetables. Here I present two varieties that are quite resistant to the cold of winter. Would you like to enjoy them during this period of extreme cold? If so, you will have to take certain precautions for cultivation depending on the variety of cabbage.

Winter cabbage

Like most savoy cabbages, winter cabbages are harvested from July to February, depending on the variety. This means that these vegetables are often surprised by the onset of winter. In the winter garden, they are subjected to the sudden change of frosts and thaws.

To optimise their resistance to the cold, I recommend that you lay them down. Place their heads in a northern direction. Growers of winter cabbage in very cold regions usually dig up the vegetables and then place them in a trench. In other words, they bury the roots of the previously dug up cabbage in a trench. The trench is dug against the wall facing north.

Whether they are just lying in their original places or put in a gauge, winter cabbages should be covered with straw, ferns or straw mats. This will protect them from the cold nights. As for harvesting, you can extend it from November to March. This will allow you to have this vegetable fresh for 5 months.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are known to be very cold tolerant. Better still, their taste is improved following a frost. So if you want to enjoy delicious Brussels sprouts, you know what to do now. Sowing is done in April-May. This way, they will be ready for winter harvest in spring.

These winter vegetables do not stand the wind well. So if you plan to plant them in a very windy area, consider staking them. During their growth, the plants have buds of 2 to 3 cm. These are scattered along the stem. I recommend harvesting them well before they become flower clusters in the winter garden. To allow the top buds to grow as much as possible, start harvesting them from the bottom.

Growing endive throughout the winter

Endive is a wild chicory with a large taproot. Also known as Witloof chicory, it has whole leaves. In order to obtain chicory throughout the winter, the endive must be pulled up and then foraged in a dark environment.

Cultivation before forcing

To sow chicory, do so on a field during the period from May to June. From October-November, the vegetables are removed from the field. Then they are spread out on the ground for a week and covered with dead leaves. This stops the vegetation process if the frost has not yet done so.

Not all roots are the same size. Keep only those with a diameter of between 3 and 5 cm at the collar. Then dress the plants. To do this, prune the roots that are 20 cm below the collar. Do the same for the leaves that are 3 cm above the collar. Finally, store the plants covered with straw. They will remain there while the chicory is being forced in the dark.

Using cellar forcing

Get a container with a depth of between 15 and 20 cm. Drill 4 cm diameter drainage holes in the base. Put in wet peat. Do not pack it down. Push the roots of each endive into the peat to the height of the collar.

Cover it with a black plastic sheet and place it in a corner where the prevailing temperature is about 15°C. Check every 22 days to see if the peat is dry. If it is, moisten it. The plastic sheet should be turned over to remove any condensed water. It will take between 3 and 5 weeks to get nice chicory. This depends on the room temperature.

Bleaching of escarole

Escarole can survive the winter without difficulty. However, it is necessary to blanch them to drastically reduce the bitter taste that characterises them.

Place a pot weighted with a stone over the centre of the rosette. Make sure that as many leaves as possible are included. This should be done 15 days before the escarole is harvested. As a precaution, check the plants for slugs. The fact is that, being confined to the vegetables, these bugs will eat them to their heart’s content.

The other method of bleaching escarole is to bind the leaves with raffia. If you don’t have raffia, use a winter veil. This is very thick, especially when doubled, and can be used to create a mini-tunnel for 4-5 lettuces. The veil will prevent the light from flooding the lettuce. Hold it in place with stones on either side of the plant.

Do not wait to harvest the leaves when they are yellow. If left for too long, the leaves will rot at the core.

In very harsh winters, cover the escarole at night with dead leaves. You can also use mats to cover them. If you do not have either of these two covers, pull up the chicory with its root ball. Then store them in the cellar. Arrange them in pairs and heart to heart.

Finally, anyone can prepare their vegetable garden for winter and enjoy it for a whole year. Are you a gardening enthusiast? If so, be inspired by everything I’ve said here and share the beautiful images of your garden.