A CALS Guide to Winter Gardening | College of Agriculture and Life… – NC State CALS

When most people think of winter, gardening probably doesn’t come to mind, but there are lots of winter season and early spring vegetables that love the cooler temperatures in North Carolina. Whether you are looking for a new hobby or dusting off your garden gloves for another season, this guide will help you decide what to plant this particular winter.

Vegetables to Start Indoors

The first few weeks in February are the perfect time to start some of your favorite vegetables from seed. Some of them, however, are much too sensitive to be planted and left outside. You can easily set up a growing station on a sunny windowsill or under an indoor plant light to watch your spring garden take root.  

Celery plus bell peppers should be planted during the last week of January. Both of these plants can be transplanted outside after roughly 10-12 weeks of growing indoors. You can expect to harvest both crops in the late spring or even early summer.  

The bell pepper that was started in The month of january grows in a summer backyard. Photo courtesy of NC  State Extension.

Some other garden favorites that can be began inside are usually broccoli , basil and cauliflower . These vegetation should also become started through seed within a warm, bright spot during the particular first couple of weeks associated with February.  

A head of broccoli grows outdoors after being transplanted into a winter garden. Photo thanks to NC  Condition Extension.

Basil grows quickly and can be harvested while it is still inside in some cases. You won’t want to move it outdoors until the last frost.  

Both broccoli plus cauliflower can be moved out into your garden as seedlings, preferably after the particular last ice. They can be gathered in early spring, before the heat of Northern Carolina summer time sets in.

All seeds started indoors should be grown in moist soil and kept damp until they reach the seedling stage. Any vegetables that you start from seed inside ought to be hardened off before transplanting them as seedlings into your own garden outside. To harden off a seedling, proceed it outdoors in a sunny spot for the few hours a day when temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit and slowly increase their time outdoors each day until you plant all of them in your garden.

Veggies to Start Outside

If you want to skip the hardening off process and sow seeds straight into your garden, radishes , peas plus spinach are great options. All of these are hardy enough to endure cool temps and even gentle frost, so they may be rooted in your outdoor garden because early since mid-to-late February.  

Radishes grown from seed have reached maturity and are usually ready for pick. Photo courtesy of NC  State Extension.

Peas grow rapidly and will only need about two weeks right after planting in order to harvest. Radishes and spinach need regarding four to six weeks to reach maturation. This means peas, radishes and spinach can be collected in March or early April.  

Peas grow on vines and develop quickly. This plant is close to maturity because it has begun flowering. Photo courtesy of NC  State Extension.

Photos are courtesy of NC  State Expansion , a great resource for questions about what is in season or how to grow annual vegetables, fruits and herbs. Extension also has calendars specifically for North Carolina that list when in order to plant various plants throughout the year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *