With the local area experiencing a number of cold snaps and frosty mornings, some residents may be rushing out to protect their gardens from deadly frost. While it is common to simply let plants die off until the spring, it is also possible to plant vegetables not that can survive the frost and be ready for harvesting come early spring.
Here are some examples of plants that you can expect to do well during the frosty months.
. Famous for being packed with nutrients, broccoli is tasty and easy to grow. If you keep many of the leaves on the plant after harvesting your broccoli, the plants should produce side-shoots that'll give you a second or even third crop.
. Cabbages can be as ornamental as they are edible. There are many different types and, if you want to add color to your vegetable garden, choose a red-leaf cabbage variety such as Ruby Ball or Super Red.
. Add a touch of beauty to your vegetable gardens with edible flowers. Calendula is a favorite for its cheery cream, yellow, or orange daisy-like blooms. Use the petals, which have a zingy, peppery flavor, to add color and interest to salads and cream-based soups.
. Carrots get sweeter as the temperature cools, so frosty seasons are a great time to plant them. Pile mulch over the roots to keep the soil from freezing and harvest them through early winter.
. One of the vegetable garden's most versatile plants, lettuce comes in an amazing array of colors, shapes, and tastes. Plant a few seeds every week and you'll have a constant crop for fresh salads.
. Peas are perfect to grow on a little fence or tepee to give structure to the cool-season garden. They're pretty, too: The plants often bear variegated foliage and white flowers. If you don't have a spot to put up a fence or tepee, look for upright pea varieties that don't need a support to climb on.
. Radishes win the prize for being one of the fastest vegetables; it's often ready for harvest less than a month after you plant the seeds. Radishes come in a variety of flesh colors, from white to red to pink and lavender. Because of their fast growth and small size, round-root radish varieties are good picks for growing in containers.
. This may be the prettiest vegetable you can grow. Swiss chard offers glossy green heart- or arrow-shape leaves carried on colorful purple, pink, red, gold, orange, or white stalks. The leaves taste a bit like spinach. Some varieties of Swiss chard are more tolerant of frost than others, so be careful which variety you are planting.
. A so-called "super food" because it's packed with nutrients, spinach is a cinch to grow. In mild-winter areas, you can sow spinach in late fall for early spring harvests.