Cary, NC – If you saw the morning frost these past few days, you can tell Winter is upon us. Now is the time to start planting and cultivating all of the vegetables and seasonings that grow best this time of year.
These are all plants that do not need much attention and are resistant to cold temperatures, making them a good pick when the rest of your garden is underutilized for the Winter.
One of the easiest vegetables to grow is the radish. Upon planting, they will grow to harvest in a matter of months. Particularly, if you pick a variety with small roots, they will grow in a month or less. When you are buying radish seeds, look into the available varieties because you will find many kinds of tastes, colors and growth periods.
Garlic requires a bit more attention but not much more, and best of all, they take up little space. When you plant your garlic bulbs, make sure they are separated but do not peel them. Spread them apart in the soil by about four to five inches. Do not start watering them until the shoots begin poking out of the ground. Garlic requires little water and if it is raining, you are good to go.
Onions can grow well provided you have nice, fertile soil and water them regularly. The temperature in January and February will likely be the best time for our part of the country to start planting them. Whether you plant seeds or bulbs is up to you, though bulbs will be easier. If you plant green onions or scallions, it’s the same process except you will be pulling these up after about six weeks.
Potatoes are another easy vegetable to plant and it can be fun to do so. Look into what variety of potato you are planting because that will determine how many eyes to put in the ground. Start growing them in February and check up on them for about three months.
Peas grow best in the moderate cold we have in November. If you can’t plant them by the end of the month or early December, try again in February. For peas, you’ll need to attach a pole for the plant to crawl up as it grows, plus some sort of screen or cover to keep the birds away. Plant the seeds an inch and a half into the ground for them to start growing.
All kinds of chard or big, leafy greens will do well in the Winter. It can give your garden some color that won’t be there this time of year and they will taste good. You will need to water them regularly and keep an eye on the temperature while they’re growing. If we have a warm Winter this year, these will not turn out as well as you want.