5 Tips for Your First Winter Vegetable Garden
Here are 5 tips to help you to establish a winter vegetable garden.
Starting a vegetable garden right before winter may seem like an impossible task but by following a few simple tips you can be growing your veggies in winter in no time. There are a few things to keep in mind about growing vegetables in winter, like how they are slower to produce or how not every crop is “foolproof”, but with patience and perseverance anyone can grow veggies during the colder months. Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Choose Your Location
When deciding on a location to grow your vegetables you need to consider if you want to grow them indoors or outside. Both options have pros and cons but there are workarounds for the downsides to both, like getting grow lights for tomatoes to help them grow indoors. Not everyone has a garden outside to grow their vegetables so indoor gardening options work best. The biggest pro to growing your vegetables indoors is that they will be protected from pests.
2. Outdoor - Clean, Turn, and Feed
If you decide to grow your vegetable garden outside, then you need to get to work as soon as possible. You’ll need to clean your old summer beds, borrow some garden tools if you don’t have your own, and then turn your soil and prep it for the colder months by providing plenty of soil food – soil food can come in the form of homemade or commercial compost.
3. Indoor - Pots, Seeds and Labels
Choose your pots wisely, the size of your vegetables will directly impact the size of the pot you will need. My suggestion would be to pick 3 vegetables, one small, one that can be grown in a mason jar, one medium and one large – this will allow you to try your hand at growing all three different size options and decide which of them work best for you and your space. Once you’ve decided and bought your seeds, you must follow the instructions for planting them as they may require you to soak the seeds first. Now that you’ve planted your seeds, all that is left is to label your pots so you always know what is inside them.
4. Outdoor - Shape Your Planting Beds for Winter
Your winter vegetable garden beds will need to be shaped so that they are raised around 4 inches high, you then need to slope them slightly towards the South. You can download a compass app if you need assistance in determining which direction South is for you. The reason for sloping your beds is to ensure that the southern exposure will warm your soil and protect your veggies from the cold.
5. Indoor – Choose Your Vegetables
Your next step is to choose what vegetables you want to plant. For first-time winter gardeners, I highly recommend you start with a few options and once you’ve got the hang of it you can add more as you get better at it. Carrots, scallions and potatoes are some of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors as they require very little input beyond the actual planting. The only thing to keep in mind with growing potatoes indoors is that you will require a bigger pot to plant them in.