What to Grow in Winter

January 01, 2010
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Winter Greens

There are numerous cold-tolerant vegetables varieties that excel in the tight space of containers and thrive in the chilly outdoors or in your interior windowsill. The following is a short list of the easiest, most popular container plants to grow in the cool season.


Black-Seeded Simpson — very reliable, early lettuce that produces a pale green head with frilly leaves
Red Deer Tongue — triangle-shaped red-green leaves
Tom Thumb (Butterhead) — tennis-ball sized lettuce heads that make a perfect salad for a single person; the inner head can be cut out so that the outer leaves form a ‘bowl’ for fillers like tuna salad
Salad Bowl
Little Gem Baby Romaine (Sugar Cos)
Little Leprechaun (Baby Red Romaine)


Little Ball
Early Wonder


Kinko — stumpy red fleshed roots, no more than 4” in length.
Oxheart — short, thick carrots with broad “shoulders” that get five to six inches long and three to four inches wide, with each growing to a pound quickly
Parmex — attractive, sweet, small spherical carrot
Pronto Speedy
Little Finger


Scarlet Globe
— ready-to-eat within 25 days, mild flavored variety


Bright Lights — delicious with vibrant red, orange, yellow and sometimes purple stems; needs at least a foot-deep container and can grow to two to three feet tall


English: Half pint — cute, meant-for-container-gardening plant that grows no taller than 15 inches, bushy with no need for support
English: Douce de provence — small, extra-sweet peas from France that grow up to 20 inches and have no need of support
Sugar Snap Peas: crisp, sweet, edible pods and shells
Sugar Ann
Sugar Lace
Snow Peas
— flat, edible pod and shells
Oregon Sugar Pea Pod II
Snow Pea Dwarf White Sugar


Purple Osaka — large, lily pad-like purple and red-veined leaves ready in 45 days
Mizuna — lovely feathery leaves with a very mild mustard flavor; can be cut to allowed to re-grow for a second harvest


All but Siberian Kale need large (one by one foot) containers
Red Russian Kale (also called Ragged Jack)
Tuscan Kale (also called Black Kale and Dinosaur Kale)
Siberian Kale — interesting blue-green leaves that can turn yellowgreen when it gets too cold; can be cut to re-grow for a second harvest

Green Onions

Lisbon Bunching Onions


Arugula — interchangeably seen as an herb and leaf green; Very hardy with a peppery bite

Cilantro (Coriander)


Interesting and Unusual

Beetberry/Strawberry Spinach — a fun plant to grow with footlong leaves, mild flavor, and slightly sweet edible scarlet berries that grow along the stem in clusters; common in Europe and beautiful in salads

Asian Vegetables

Choy Sum (Extra Dwarf) — all parts of this vegetable, including its stems, leaves and yellow flowers, are sweet and edible; ready to harvest at four inches tall within three to four weeks after sowing
Shungiku (Edible Chrysanthemum) — the “crisp, floral-mint” flavor in all parts of the plant is pleasant in soups, stir fries and salads and can begin to be harvested within 21 days; keep it small with constant snipping as it can grow three to four feet tall
Tat Soi — leaves grow in a rosette that appears almost as works of art; can be harvested young within 45 days, and then harvested a second time; Able to withstand temperatures of below 10 degrees.

For seeds, go to www.seedsavers.org

Article from Edible Memphis at http://ediblememphis.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/what-grow-winter
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