11 In Gardening/ Lifestyle

Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden

Helpful Guide To Drying Homegrown Herbs | angiethefreckledrose.com

Many vegetables thrive in the cold, and can continue to grow throughout the fall and winter seasons!  Most people start slowing down their gardens around this time of year.  If you choose to do so, you can keep growing!  I live in zone 6a New England, and I grow in a raised garden bed.  I also mulch the vegetables in and cover my crops with frost blankets and a homemade hoop house to extend my growing season.  This protects the vegetables from wind and damaging winter weather.  If you plant seeds before the ground freezes and implement some protective measures, you are good to go! 

Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.comThe best way to learn when gardening is with trial and error.  Last year was my first time venturing into the world of year-round vegetable gardening.  You can read about my experience starting a winter vegetable garden here.  I've decided to replant some of the crops that I had success with last year.  It's important to know your growing zone when picking, planning and planting your crops.  It also helps you find out a rough estimate of when your first frost date will be.  As long as you know your frost dates, what grows well in your region and you have a little bit of garden protection, you can get growing!

My Frost Tolerant Favorites

Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Hardy Vegetable: 26 to 31 degrees fahrenheit
Variety I'm Planting: Cherry Belle
Variety Description: Cherry red skin with white interior. Crisp texture and mild flavor.
When To Sow: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date
Days To Germinate: 5 to 10 days
Days To Harvest: 24 days
Ways To Enjoy: Add to sandwiches and salads 

Quick Facts: Radishes make a great crop since they are in the brassica family that is very cold hardy.  They are fast-maturing and very easy to grow.  It is important to note that they should be planted when soil temperature is above 40 degrees fahrenheit.  This vegetable germinates the best at 60 to 65 degrees fahrenheit.


Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Semi-Hardy Vegetable: 31 to 33 degrees fahrenheit
Variety I'm Planting: Wando
Variety Description: Sweet, dark-green plump pods on vigorous vines.
When To Sow: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date
Days To Germinate: 8 to 12 days
Days To Harvest: 69 days
Ways To Enjoy: Soups, salads and even pasta dishes

Quick Facts: Pea plants are great at tolerating light frost.  They make a great fall crop, but did also thrive under my hoop house all winter long.  Growing in cool weather optimizes flavor.  As long as they are protected from the elements, they seem to do okay.  They won't germinate quickly in the severe cold, but they can survive!  Vegetables in the legume family benefit from adding a soil inoculant when planting.  Add this to increase your harvests!  Make sure to add support and keep protected with a frost blanket. 


Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Semi-Hardy Vegetable: 29 to 33 degrees fahrenheit
Variety I'm Planting: Danvers 126 Half Long
Variety Description: Adaptable and dependable deep orange with uniform roots developed in Massachusetts
When To Sow: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date
Days To Germinate: 14 to 21 days
Days To Harvest: 75 days
Ways To Enjoy: Great for juicing, roasting and adding to soups

Quick Facts: Carrots actually taste sweeter as the temperatures drop!  They increase their sugar content as a defense mechanism against the cold.  This helps to prevent ice crystals from forming.  Make sure your soil is free of debris like stones and can be easily worked.  If you have dense soil, try adding compost to loosen.  Before harvesting, you can add some water to the soil to make it easier to pull.


Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Hardy Vegetable: 26 to 31 degrees fahrenheit
Variety I'm Planting: Calabrese
Variety Description: Dark blue-green 8 inch heads
When To Sow: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date
Days To Germinate: 10 to 21 days
Days To Harvest: 60 to 90 days
Ways To Enjoy: Use as a pizza topping, add it in casseroles, eat it steamed

Quick Facts: Don't forget that when growing broccoli you can harvest the smaller heads along with the central head.  Make sure to pick when the heads have firm buds.  Broccoli grows strongest with high-nitrogen fertilizer.  I've enjoyed some of my best and tastiest broccoli during the frosty months! 


Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Hardy Vegetable: 20 to 25 degrees fahrenheit
Variety I'm Planting: Walla Walla
Variety Description: Enormous bulbs with sweet and juicy flavor. Light brown skin with white flesh. 
When To Sow: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date
Days To Germinate: 7 to 15 days
Days To Harvest: 100 to 105 days
Ways To Enjoy: Add them to sauces, soups and chili

Quick Facts: It is very easy to overwinter onions.  It's important to make sure the soil is well-drained and rich in nutrients.  They grow best when soil is mixed with manure or compost.  If you want to fertilize add, nitrate-based fertilizer.  You can harvest young onions to eat as scallions.  


Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Hardy Vegetable: 26 to 30 degrees fahrenheit
Variety I'm Planting: Brunswick Cabbage
Variety Description: Drum-shaped head
When To Sow: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost date
Days To Germinate: 10 to 21 days
Days To Harvest: 85 to 95 days
Ways To Enjoy: Make homemade sauerkraut, stews and rolls 

Quick Facts: A light frost can bring out the sweetness of cabbage.  It is best to harvest heads when they become firm.  Plant in average soil in a sunny location.  Make sure you give these vegetables plenty of room to grow.  Growing under a hoop house is perfect for this crop.  This can protect your cabbage heads from splitting due to heavy rain. 


Are you thinking about growing some cold weather crops this year?  What are your favorites?  Tell me all about them in the comment section below or tweet me @thefreckledrose.  The best thing to do when venturing into the world of winter gardening, is research as much as possible!  I've had many successful winter harvests and just as many failures.  There are many things that are out of your hands during the colder months like snowstorms and frost protection failures.  It's important to not be hard on yourself.  If you lose a crop due to something like this, try again!  It is so rewarding to grow your own fresh produce, even during chilliest months.  With a little bit of determination and the ability to keep trying, you can be eating from your backyard all year!

In Case You Missed It - Guide To Growing Scarlet Runner Beans



Tuesdays In The Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Check out more great Tuesdays In The Garden guides this week!  Shell shares with us her successes and failure's from this year's garden.  Jami shares way to spruce up the fall porch with garden inspired decor.  Michelle shares 10 things we can do right now to make gardening easier this upcoming spring.  Diane shares first account tips and a tutorial on winter hoop gardening.


Frost Tolerant Favorites For The Vegetable Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com


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  • Reply
    September 20, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Our winter gardening is on pause this year. We have a huge amount of mildew in our garden and greenhouse this year. We are on a campaign to get rid of it before spring. Growing winter plants right now is not in the picture. I love your list of frost tolerant plants. I’m going to miss them fresh from the garden in the deep winter months. Enjoy! I look forward to our blog hops next year. Have a great Winter!

  • Reply
    Michelle Marine
    September 20, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I’ve never grown a winter garden, but I’d love to try. I think we’d need a mini green house though. Our winters can be downright frigid with -40 mph windchills and -20 degree temps. 🙁 I’m curious what kind of winter we’re in for this year. Last year was mild, but the two winters before were horrid.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Angie, great information. I agree the carrots are sweeter when grown in the fall and winter. We enjoy them straight out of the garden in most of the winter. Since it doesn’t free to hard here.

    I have my fall garden in right now. I planted beans, peas, carrots, radishes, and lettuce this year. The beans were already attacked by the birds. They snip the tops off and then just leave them lay. The squirrels attacked some of the radishes by pulling up the tiny seedlings. Luckily I only lost 5 radishes.

    I replanted beans and fingers crossed the birds will leave them alone now. We’ve had hoop houses in the past for late winter/early spring gardening but when we replaced the raised beds a couple of years ago, they had to go too. I’ve been meaning to take the time to build a new hoop house structure but didn’t get it completed. Maybe this next gardening season we will get it done.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Perfect article, Angie! Our biggest challenge for winter gardening in the maritime northwest is rain – even the most frost-tolerant veggies succumb to being soaked in water constantly. 🙂 That’s why row covers or hoop houses are a must here. I’ve had luck with overwintering, but not really harvesting through the winter. Maybe one day a greenhouse will be in my future. 🙂

    Btw, did you make the artist-rendered veggie images? They are gorgeous!!

  • Reply
    Kristin Crouch
    September 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Great ideas for the veggie garden. I have my winter vegetables in and hope they do well. Frost arrives in November so I may have to cover them.

  • Reply
    bettyl - NZ
    September 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I had no idea there were so many to choose from! I’ll have to see what’s available here. Thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Lisa @ LTTL
    September 24, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Perfect post for the fall… I’ve heard that greens like Kale and Spinach also do well with cooler weather. I figure I’ll try anything once.

    Lisa @ LTTL

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Angie,
    I never seem to have much luck with growing too much after the weather gets colder. I think I might have be trying the wrong veggies. We only plant certain vegetables due to my food allergies and ones we know will be worth growing. Some I can buy locally from farmers so much cheaper than planted them myself and I know how they grown and that they are organically produced. But your article was very good and I am sharing. Congratulation on being featured on Homestead blog hop.

  • Reply
    Tana Mason
    September 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Our winter garden has came to a halt this year because of neighbors chickens destroying our bad! :((((((( Please come share this at our party we would love to have you!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I am a flower gardener and want to grow some of these next year, so I need these tips!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Hello Angie..I am so sorry I am so late in visiting. We went to visit our 17 month old grandson..who is in this week’s Nature Notes eating tomatoes right out of the garden. I am really thinking of trying to grow some veg so I appreciate the information…Michelle

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