Home Vegetable Gardening 10 Best Winter Crops for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Winter Vegetables

10 Best Winter Crops for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Winter Vegetables

by Donna
3 minutes read

10 Best Winter Crops: A Guide for Beginners

With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown produce all winter long. Here are 10 of the best winter crops for beginners:

Leafy Greens

  • Winter lettuce: Varieties like ‘Winter Gem’ and ‘Winter Density’ thrive in the cold and can be grown in a cold frame or greenhouse.
  • Mibuna and mizuna: These Japanese greens are hardy enough to withstand winter outdoors, but will produce more leaves with some protection.
  • Chard: Swiss chard is a leafy green that is surprisingly cold-tolerant and will produce well under glass.
  • Kale: A nutritious and versatile green that can be used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.


  • Spring onions: These small onions have a strong flavor when grown under cover in winter. Try varieties like ‘Tokyo Long White’ or ‘White Lisbon’.
  • Pak choi: This Asian green prefers cooler temperatures and is perfect for stir-fries.
  • Turnips: These bulbous vegetables are great for adding to soups and stews.
  • Celeriac: A root vegetable that can be used in soups, stews, and purees.


  • Purple-sprouting broccoli: This hardy vegetable can tolerate temperatures as low as -12°C.
  • Brussels sprouts: A classic winter vegetable that is perfect for roasting or steaming.

Tips for Growing Winter Crops

  • Sow seeds at the right time: Refer to the “When to sow” information provided for each crop.
  • Protect your plants from the cold: Use fleece, cloches, or a greenhouse to keep your plants warm.
  • Water regularly: Winter crops still need water, but be sure to avoid overwatering.
  • Fertilize lightly: Winter crops don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but a light application can help them grow strong.
  • Harvest when ready: Check the maturity dates for each crop to know when to harvest.

How to Prepare Your Greenhouse for Winter

Before growing winter crops in your greenhouse, it’s important to clean it thoroughly to remove any pests or diseases. This will ensure that your plants have the best chance of success.

  1. Remove all plants and debris from the greenhouse.
  2. Wash all surfaces with a mild bleach solution.
  3. Inspect the greenhouse for any cracks or holes and repair them.
  4. Replace the greenhouse cover if it is torn or damaged.

By following these tips, you can grow a bountiful harvest of winter crops and enjoy fresh, homegrown produce all season long.

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