Winters in Georgia aren’t that bad but it does mean that our gardens are done for the year. But here in the Peach State, most of our state lies in hardiness zone 8. Which means we have a longer growing season than our northern neighbors. For those of us just itching to plant something, that means we can start planting in the winter. Growing vegetables in the winter is easy and the best part is, no weeds! That’s why we have compiled a list of some cool-season vegetables that you can start planting in Georgia in the winter.
Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that is incredibly resistant to pests and diseases. I can be planted in winter for a late spring or summer harvest or planted in the spring for a fall harvest. Once broccoli matures, cut the main head before it starts to rot. Don’t worry about losing your source of broccoli. After the main head is cut, smaller offshoots will sprout along the sides.
Potatoes are a versatile and hardy vegetable. Potatoes are a root crop which means they grow underground and are safe from cold temperatures. Luckily our ground temperatures in Georgia usually don’t get that cold, which means potatoes can be planted any time of the year. You can start planting potatoes right now in January and they will be ready for harvest in the spring.
Like potatoes, carrots are root crops that grow underground, protected from the winter cold. Carrots can be planted for winter harvest in mid-summer. In fact, carrots grow better in cooler temperatures than in our hot summers. If you are new to gardening, carrots are perfect for beginning gardeners and great for educating children about growing food.
Kale is hardy enough to survive the frosts and early winter of the northern states. So it should have to problem tolerating our mild Georgia winters. Kale is a staple for salad and soup recipes and even is great baked into kale chips.
Cabbage is what is known as a cole crop. Cole crops are plants that belong to the mustard family and are descended from wild cabbage. Cabbage and other cole crops grow better in cool weather. Cabbage can be used in stews, soups, or as a replacement for pasta noodles in certain recipes.
Cauliflower is a versatile and easy to grow winter vegetable. Cauliflower is one of those great vegetables that is delicious eaten raw or cooked. In fact, cauliflower can replace broccoli if recipe is if you don’t happen to have any. Unfortunately, once you cut the head off a cauliflower it does not grow back like broccoli. In order for them to stay white, you need to keep the heads out of the sunlight when they get about 2-3 inches across. Just pull the leaves up over the heads and secure with a clothespin or twine.
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