Growing vegetables in pots during winter allows you to enjoy a homegrown harvest from your vegetable garden throughout the chilly months.
And growing food in container pots is the easiest way to garden if you live in a region where winters can be long, cold, and very snowy.
Season extenders such as cold frames, mini hoop tunnels, greenhouses, or polytunnels are the key to a successful outdoor vegetable harvest in the winter where you can grow an abundance of vegetables in pots.
More and more people are looking to grow edible crops and urban gardening is now trending by growing food where you thought was unusable.
Everyone is creative enough to utilize places like rooftops, balconies, windowsills, and every nook and cranny that is available to them. This trend indicates that green thumb fever isn’t just in the countryside.
The Best Vegetables To Grow In Pots During Winter
Growing vegetables in container pots is not just for urban gardening. They can be an exceptional alternative if the soil where you live is too poor.
Besides, container gardening becomes more beneficial and accessible to the elderly or growers with physical disabilities.
So, check out this article to help you figure out the best cold-tolerant vegetables that will provide you bountiful yields when grown in pots during winter.
Kale is a cold-hardy and resilient plant that belongs in the cabbage family. The vegetable is easy to grow in a container pot on your patio or in-ground directly into the soil.
This frizzy green leaf kitchen staple is easy to grow, even if you’re a newbie to gardening in pots. And covering or protecting young plants from extreme cold allows them to grow steadily for months until the weather gets warm.
You can grow kale either from seeds or seedlings. It germinates fast, and you can get the packet of seeds cheaply.
Moreover, fall is the best time for growing kale in areas where winter doesn’t fluctuate often. Their curly leaves become sweeter when the plants reach maturity in colder weather.
You can enjoy kale in winter as steamed, stir-fried, soups, or the young tender leaves as a delicious winter salad. They are also a great addition to smoothies, casseroles, and quesadillas.
Growing lettuce indoors is not hard. It allows you to enjoy homegrown crunchy salad even if you’re new to indoor gardening.
It is the grower’s favorite to grow lettuce indoors in the fall or winter as the plant can be economical to maintain because it thrives well even if the temperature has less heat than necessary.
And a packet of seeds is inexpensive. If you live in areas with direct sunlight in the winter months, it will make it much easier for you to get started.
Some varieties of lettuce suited for growing indoors include black seeded Simpson and tom thumb.
But loose-leaf lettuce grows more quickly than others. It can produce multiple yields in various colors and will let you enjoy a crunchy colorful salad.
3) Brussels Sprout
Brussels sprout is a plant that naturally grows vertically without support. The small circular vegetables resemble little cabbage, all lined up in rows on the stalks neatly.
This plant grows best in areas with cooler temperatures and may likely fail to form when you plant them in areas with hot weather. Besides, the cool weather is long enough for brussels sprout to produce maximum yields.
Also, it takes about three months (90 days) to produce sprouts. So most brussels sprout growers start to plant in early summer. Early planting allows them to have the fall crop and let the plant reach maturity before the heat of summer.
Growing beets in containers is no different from planting radishes and carrots. This cool-weather crop is one of the fast-growing vegetables you can grow in pots, particularly in the late fall, winter, and early spring.
Most beets growers use either of the two main methods to grow beets in a container. Some prefer sprouting seeds by sowing in the soil or growing beets tops in water and later transplanting into the pots to establish stronger roots.
However, most of the beets varieties don’t like to be transplanted. When considering growing them in pots, pick the right container suitable for the plant when they reach maturity.
And when you grow them from seeds, select the healthiest seedling when they reach the appropriate height. Then, thin them and maintain the correct spacing for the plant to produce quality yields.
Carrots are a cool-season crop usually planted when the temperatures are about 50°F. This sweet and luscious plant loves moist but not soggy soil.
However, when planting carrots in a container, make sure to provide enough space as possible. Carrots need about 1-2 inches of space in between, which is why it is important to determine the variety of carrots you are growing.
Thin the carrots to maintain the correct spacing. This process allows the plant to receive adequate nutrients, moisture, and proper aeration.
Overcrowded seedlings end up competing against each other, resulting in less quality or no yields at all.
Besides, thinning will ensure your carrots are high-quality and full of flavor. On the other hand, thinned carrots can be roasted or used as a topper for a fresh salad.
Spinach grows best with neutral soil enriched with nitrogen. Nitrogen is a vital component when growing winter spinach to help the plant survive the cold for up to seven months.
These will function as booster feed to meet the plant’s nutritional needs as the new growth appears in the late winter. Well-feed spinach often produces sweeter and larger leaves.
Potatoes make a great winter-early spring crop in any size among the garden. They grow well whether you plant them in a mound, containers, or in potato bags.
However, you’ll want to look for certified disease-free potatoes when considering to plant and grow during winter.
Potatoes in the grocery store are treated to prevent sprouting. And while these seeds may grow, they are not certified disease-free which is why those are not recommended.
Besides, you don’t want to waste your money, effort, and the risk of introducing disease to your garden.
And depending on the variety, potatoes usually take 90-120 days to have the first harvest and about 60-70 days if you want to have a smaller size of potatoes.
Also, if you live in the cooler parts of the country, you probably want to consider adding lots of potassium and nitrogen into the soil.
Doing so allows you to produce a second crop in May and the third crop in late August or early September.
Moreover, potatoes prefer 6 hours of sun exposure and cooler weather but not frost. The plant also requires frequent watering.
Radishes are small crops that belong to the family of broccoli and cauliflower. These vegetables come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
It takes the plant only 23 days to harvest. However, this is too fast from the gardener’s standpoint.
And this is the reason why urban gardeners prefer to grow radishes in containers, particularly in winter.
Unlike other garden vegetables that need to be sprouted indoors and transplanted outdoors, radishes are often sown directly into their final container. Thus, you need not worry about transplanting.
Broccoli is one of the most loved vegetables year-round that belongs to the Brassicaceae family and typically grown as an annual.
This plant is naturally large, and you may wonder how to grow it in containers.
Urban dwellers usually have compact space, but this plant is still preferred by many and is grown in pots indoors, either on their balcony or patio.
And even if the vegetable can spread about three to four feet as it reaches maturity, you can always squeeze the plant among your patio or balcony, particularly if you have no backyard.
Growing broccoli in containers can extend the plant’s growing season. The reason is that you have more control over the temperature to meet the needs of this cool-season crop.
With consistent watering and by providing the nutrients sufficient for the plants to survive, broccoli can thrive even in small and overcrowded spaces.
Growing cabbage in small spaces like containers will produce you a fiber-rich, nutritious, and low-calorie vegetable you can enjoy either as delicious meals or toss them directly into salad.
However, to make the most out of cabbage, try to plant only one cabbage in every container. Overcrowding cabbage will result in smaller or failure to form heads.
If you live in a frost-free climate, the optimum temperature to consider planting cabbage is in late fall for spring harvest, when the temperature ranges between 50-85 F. However, make sure to pick the variety that fits the season. This ensures optimal growth and the best flavor.
11) Swiss Chard
Like lettuce and kale, swiss chard is a cool-season crop you can grow in containers and enjoy fresh greens at your fingertips.
Growers in tropical areas may find the plants hard to grow. But some varieties can successfully grow when planted in colder months.
And aside from providing you fresh and tasty food from the yard, swiss chard is both antioxidant and attractive that enhances the aesthetic of your backyard. The stalks and large foliage looks pretty and gorgeous in vibrant colors.
The satisfaction and therapeutic effect of growing homegrown produce is undeniable. But, many gardeners don’t have a suitable space to grow vegetables, particularly urban dwellers who live in shared apartments or no backyard to squeeze the plants in.
However, growing vegetables in pots during winter is a great way to enjoy homegrown produce. Many cool-season plants can be successfully grown in containers with proper care. There are a few cold-hardy vegetables that can withstand chilly temperatures once fully established.
Vegetables in pots require more attention than plants grown in-ground. But tasks like watering and weeding are significantly fun and easy. Elderly gardeners and children may find it enjoyable, knowing the whole family will enjoy fresh produce from the garden.
Most vegetables grow best when placed in a sunny location, whether in the fall, winter, or summer. The plants prefer at least 6 hours a day and containers with adequate drainage to avoid the possibility of root rot and waterlogging.
Containers in various sizes allow different types of vegetables to mature and produce properly. So pick the right container suitable to the plant of your preference.
And if you have given up growing vegetables due to lack of space or because of physical limitations, why not give container vegetable gardening a try.
After all, to experience the fun and therapeutic effect in your home is the most precious reward for the effort.
Have you tried gardening vegetables in container pots during winter? If you have enjoyed tasty and crunchy salad fresh from your backyard and would love to share your experience with us, feel free to write in the comment section below.