Sowing and Planting Winter Veg for Spring

veg of the week own grown broad beans display

Winter isn’t just for staying inside and staying warm. It’s also a great time to plant certain vegetables that do well in cold weather. And when the spring whether comes around, these delicious veggies will be ready to pick and cook.

What Vegetables Like Winter?

Some vegetables don’t mind the cold. In fact, many thrive when growing in colder conditions. Some good options include:

Onions: Resilient and able to withstand frosty conditions, onions are an excellent winter crop. Onion sets, which are small immature onions, are an excellent choice. Plant them during the winter, and they’ll grow quietly beneath the ground, ready to be harvested in spring. They require a well-drained plot and need to be kept clear of weeds.

Broad beans: Broad beans can also be sown in winter for an early spring harvest. Choose a variety that’s suitable for winter sowing, like ‘Aquadulce Claudia’, and plant them in a sheltered spot that gets some sun. Broad beans grow best in well-drained soil and can handle frost quite well.

Garlic: Another winter-hardy crop, plant garlic cloves in individual holes, pointy side up. They will start rooting and setting themselves up for a spring harvest. The frost actually helps to break the garlic bulb into cloves and makes them taste better.

Winter salads: Some salad leaves, like spinach and winter lettuce, can survive the winter chill. They need a bright spot in well-drained soil and will benefit from a protective layer of mulch.

Hardy peas: Some varieties of peas can also be planted in winter. They might need a little protection from the worst of the winter weather, but once spring comes, they’ll be ready to shoot up and provide you with an early harvest.

Growing Vegetables in a Polytunnel

If you want to plant vegetables in winter to be ready for spring, then it’s worth investing in a polytunnel. It works like a mini-greenhouse and keeps plants warm, even when it’s cold outside. You can grow loads in it over the colder months – spinach, kale, and chard are some examples of plants that do well.

Remember to add compost to the soil and make sure the tunnel gets some air to stop mould from growing.

Cold Frames for Winter Growing

Cold frames are small boxes that are designed to keep plants warm. They’re perfect for growing lettuce, beetroot, and radishes over the winter. Make sure that you place your cold frame facing south to get the most sun. On warmer winter days, open the top to stop the plants from getting too hot.

How to Water Your Winter Veggies

With the amount of rain that we get here in the UK, chances are you won’t need to worry too much about watering your vegetables in winter. In fact, over-watering can harm your plants. Keep an eye on the soil and make sure that it’s damp, rather than soaked. If you’re worried about the rain, consider planning your veggies on raised beds to keep them out of too much water, or use cloches (like mini greenhouses) to protect them.

Winter can be an excellent time to grow veggies if you know how. When spring comes, your hard work will pay off with lots of fresh veggies to enjoy. Get everything you need for winter sowing at Carpenter’s Nursery. Contact us on 01727 853340 or visit to explore the selection.