Winter conjures up images of cold bleak days and not much life in the garden, meanwhile, everyone would love a steady supply of fresh homegrown vegetables over the winter but think it impossible to grow their own.
Well, fear not, even when the nights are drawing in and the days getting colder and colder you can still produce an ample supply of fresh veg. How? Well simply put, use pots to grow your vegetables.
Winter vegetables to grow in pots
There are many different winter vegetables to grow in pots such as carrots, cabbage, beetroot, Brussels, onions & shallots. We also have a great guide on growing potatoes over winter, which includes a guide on how to grow them in pots.
Why grow these vegetables in pots?
Growing veg in pots makes them a lot more adaptable, even if you still plan on growing them outside. For instance, if a significant frost is on its way, you can simply move the pots inside or into a greenhouse, cold frame or shed to help protect them.
Growing in pots also opens up the possibility of growing the veg indoors. If you have a conservatory or porch, then they make an ideal place to grow indoor veg over the cold winter months.
What size pot do I need?
As I’m sure you already know, the size of the pot needed depends on what vegetable you hope to grow. I will list out some common winter vegetables to grow in pots below and also the size of pot required.
Carrots need a deep pot, for obvious reasons, unless you plan on growing baby carrots (baby carrots are young, immature carrots harvested early for exceptional sweetness).
For regular carrots, I recommend a pot at least 30cm deep and with a 30cm circumference. Baby carrots can be grown in much shallower pots to them being harvested before the root fully matures. Also, check out our guide to how to mulch carrots for winter.
For cabbage, you don’t need an incredibly deep pot as most of the action occurs above ground. I recommend a pot 10cm deep with at least a 20cm circumference, and this will be good for one cabbage.
Being a root vegetable, you need to think about depth with beetroot; however, they grow close to the surface, so huge depth is not essential. 15cm or deeper and you will be okay.
Each beetroot doesn’t take up much space on its own. So in a 30cm circumference pot, you could fit around ten plants. If your beetroot seems to be struggling for space, then pick out some of the smaller ones to allow the others room to grow.
Brussels grow tall rather than wide, making them ideal for growing in pots. Get a pot at least 15cm deep to allow for good root growth, for individual pot-growing you only need a pot of 10-15cm circumference to allow plenty of room.
Onions & Shallots
These can be grown relatively packed together and in a pot of around 10-15cm depth. You can get as wider a pot as you need to however many onions you want to grow. You can pack these in reasonably tight so don’t worry too much.
Rather than needing a pot, winter salads can be grown in trays, making them an ideal window sill plant. Sow these inside every couple of weeks, and you will have a steady supply all winter long. Just ensure they are kept in a sunny spot to allow for rapid leaf growth.