Winter gardening: The best vegetables to grow in late winter
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I imagine there are lots of home vegetable gardeners looking at empty beds now. You may not have considered planting earlier this year, but now, while the weather is still cool to mild, there is still time to plant the wonderful cool-season vegetables.
One of the biggest trends in gardening today is growing your own food, no matter what the size of your garden space. Growing your own vegetables ensures they are fresh, have not been sprayed with chemicals, and you save on grocery bills.
It is easy to grow vegetables from seed. All you need to ensure is that you sow at the correct time of year and give the seeds a good start with composted soil, sunshine, and access to water.
So, what vegetables can you still plant in late winter?
Turnips are cool weather plants that like to be sown in autumn or late winter. You can sow turnips in the ground as soon as the ground is workable, but healthy turnips might need a cold case over them to raise the soil temperature to 40 degrees. Be sure to plant in full sun and keep the soil fertilised throughout their growing period.
Onions and garlic
If you’re growing these crops from seed, you must wait until spring. However, you’ll have a much earlier harvest if you plant them as bulblets – often referred to as “sets” – in late winter.
Cauliflower loves the winter temperatures, and if you are gardening on the cold highveld and have not yet planted any, you still have the chance if you do it now.
Parsnips like cooler temperatures and can even survive the winter, to be harvested in the spring. Parsnips are a perfect crop to plant in late winter, because ideally, they should experience two to three frosts before harvesting. Seedlings emerge in a couple of weeks and are ready for harvest in three months.