Growing Vegetables in Winter: December Sowing
I finally did a winter sowing in my red grow box! Several different types of leafy greens. I look forward to harvesting them in early spring. Do you want to learn more about growing vegetables in winter? Keep reading!
I love growing vegetables in winter and recently did two winter sowings as a preparation for the coming spring. This is my first planned winter planting this year and I'm so happy to finally get started! I'm hoping to do one winter sowing per week and especially focus on leafy greens and root vegetables. Growing in winter gives me the opportunity to focus on another, bigger project this spring. I'm going to talk more about this soon!
This method of growing vegetables is actually very convenient. It saves me plenty of time in spring and gives me a head start on the harvesting too. The vegetables we grow in winter are ready a lot sooner than the ones we sow in for example March. I live in zone 3 and can often start harvesting my winter-sown vegetables outside already in April. Of course, I have the winter sowings in the polytunnel as a back-up.
Winter Vegetables in a Grow Box
I've been writing a bit about my red grow box this year (check out the links further down in this post) and I decided it was time to start the winter planting here a few days ago too. The grow box is 4 x 4 ft (120 x 120 cm) and I was able to fit eight rows in the box. These are the varieties I went for:
- broccoli 'Batavia'/bok choy 'Green Fortune'/dwarf bok choy
- lettuce 'Tennis Ball'
- lettuce 'Red sallat bowl'
- spinach 'Palco'
- spinach 'Giant Noble'
- kale 'Red Russian'
- bok choy mix (from my own line of seeds)
Check out a video of the sowing below:
I decided to sow the same winter vegetables in a raised bed in my cottage garden earlier this week too. I filmed the sowing but I already forgot exactly which varieties we decided to go for. My mind was scattered I suppose!
More About Winter Planting:
I sowed the seeds in tight but shallow rows. Simply because I plan on using them as microgreens, which is why I don't need to think too hard about how I sow my winter vegetables. Very convenient!
When it comes to growing vegetables in winter, you don't have to worry too much about the watering. Nature takes care of it with the rain and snow. One thing to keep in mind is to add some wire mesh panels on top. This keeps the animals from digging around in the soil. When February comes, it's time to add a lid on top of the box. The lid will help the soil stay warm longer and the seeds germinate faster even if it's cold outside. Winter sowings usually germinate in February at my house. Spinach can germinate even sooner than that. Don't worry though. These winter vegetables are hardy and rarely freeze or break.
Is this your first time growing vegetables in winter? Don't worry, I have plenty of material about winter planting here on the blog. Just follow the links in the post for more info. You can do your winter sowings both outside in the garden or in the greenhouse too. Just make sure to pick hardy vegetables. A few good ones to get started with are: spinach, lettuce, arugula, dill and bok choy.
Check out what the results of a winter sowing can look like here:
The most important thing about growing winter vegetables is probably just to get started. You don't need to know for sure that it's going to work. Just get creative and see what happens. This is one of my favorite things about winter, and I hope that you give it a try too. Good luck!