Winter gardens give long, long harvest

--no other gardens offer so much reward for so little work.

For how-to info, see the articles at the bottom of this page.

Some vegetables deserve special mention: Fennel, Sprouting Broccoli (Quarantina and Purple), and Chinese Cabbage are special fall delicacies--hard to grow in the lengthening days of spring, but easy in fall.  Spinach is also easier, with a much longer season in fall. Winter Lettuces are bred to be cold-hardy as adult plants, rather than just as baby greens like other lettuce. In addition, spring crops will also do well in the less-demanding conditions of fall.

The key is to start early enough that the plants can mature before winter. Late July or early August is a great time to start with the longer-season vegetables like broccoli, onion, and cabbage.  Faster-growing crops like Lettuce and  greens can be sown all the way up to your frost date in mild areas, and a month before frost in cold zones.

While most insects are not active in winter, slugs and snails come into their own.  Hand-picking, copper strips, and providing a hiding place which can be thrown away (like a paper towel roll) are all helpful strategies. If you can keep it shielded from rain, a jar of beer will lure them in to drown.

Popular This Season:
Vra 5050 daikon radish 06 web

All Seasons (Tokinashi) Daikon Radish

All Seasons, Tokinashi. Juicy, crunchy long white roots for raw eating, cooking, and pickles. Excellent pickled. Daikon is a fall crop, overwintering in zone...
  • Days to maturity: 65
  • Seeds per packet: 350
  • Germination days: 7-14
Lettuce+arctic+king

Arctic King Butterhead Lettuce

European heirloom, this is bred for winter growth and resistance to the rots and mildew that wet winter weather can bring. Vigorous and fast-growing, to outg...
  • Days to maturity: 60-70
  • Spacing: 9-12
  • When to plant: Winter
Vgr 3740 eruca+sativa rocket leo+michels wikipedia

Arugula Greens, Organic

Fast and easy. Spicy, tender leaves and flowers for salads with mouth-watering flavor.Self-sows, attracts beneficial insects, makes a great understory  in su...
  • Days to maturity: 37-50
  • Seeds per packet: 200
  • Germination days: 5-10
Cau 6920 austrian+field+pea+2

Austrian Winter Field Pea

Small, yellow soup peas with dark skins. The green shoots make a wonderful winter salad crop, hardy down to 0 degrees. Along with kale and spinach, you can h...
  • Seeds per packet: 900
  • Planting depth: 1.5-3
  • Days to maturity: 70-182
Bge 1224

Backyard Winter Gardening: Vegetables Fresh &

NAME: Backyard Winter Gardening: Vegetables Fresh & Simple, in Any Climate Without Artifical Heat or Electricity the Way It's Been Done for 2,000 Years ...
Vpa 4731

Bedford Monarch Parsnip

A very rare old English parsnip variety. Long white roots with broad shoulders and sweet flavor. The roots can get huge & therefore provide a very high y...
  • Germination days: 15-28
  • Seeds per packet: 180
  • Days to maturity: 100
Vle 4260 bronze+arrow+lettuce

Bronze Arrow Looseleaf Lettuce

A rare, long-standing heirloom leaf lettuce that has it all. Our own strain, unavailable elsewhere. The head in the picture sprouted from spilled seed in the...
  • Spacing: 8-9
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Germination days: 2-15
Vca 2910 carrot chantenay 2 soc web

Chantenay Carrot, Organic

French heirloom from the late 1800s. Wide 5 ½" deep-orange, shorter roots cope well with problem soils. Yields heavily, keeps well, good eating, freezing, al...
  • Seeds per packet: 800
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Germination days: 6-21
Cabbage+copenhagen+market

Copenhagen Market Cabbage

Danish heirloom from before 1909, and the standard of excellence for fresh use since then. Solid heads reach 6-8" in diameter, weigh 3-4 pounds, and resist s...
  • Days to maturity: 63-100
  • Germination days: 6-12
  • Seeds per packet: 85
Greens+dragon+tongue blended

Dragon Tongue Mustard

Very sweet mustard flavor, and a pinch of heat. Wide crunchy midribs. Last mustard to bolt in spring. Outstanding new salad/cooking green from wizard Frank M...
  • Days to maturity: 35-50
  • Variety code: Ossi
  • Germination days: 9-12
Pea+dwarf+grey+sugar

Dwarf Grey Sugar (Edible Pod) Snowpea

This heirloom has been loved for over 2 centuries. Earliest pea of all, producing its brave pink and purple flowers and 2-3" pods when the weather is still c...
  • Seeds per packet: 250
  • Planting depth: 1/2-1
  • Spacing: 3
Vbr 2560 broccoli purple sprouting web

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Outstanding sweet flavor and tender texture. The most ancient type of broccoli, renowned for flavor and superior nutritional value. These need to go through ...
  • Days to maturity: 120-200
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • Seeds per packet: 80
Beet+mangel

Early Yellow Intermediate Mangel Beet

Sweet, prize-winning flavor.These produce a lot of food value in a small space. French heirloom from the 1800's with great flavor, yield, and storability.Sw...
  • Days to maturity: 65
  • Spacing: 7
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Chard+erbette+

Erbette Chard

Heirloom from Italy, this is a very refined and delicious leafbeet type chard, with leaves that cook quickly and have the tender texture and mild taste of tr...
  • Days to maturity: 40-60
  • Spacing: 8
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Lettuce+hungarian+med

Fall/Winter Salad Garden Collection

DESCRIPTION: Our most frost-hardy lettuces, in a variety of types and colors, plus three specialty greens that brave winter weather and taste great in salad....
Four+season+harvest006

Four Season Harvest

Eliot Coleman, rev. ed. 1999, 242 pp. Diverse Gardens and Gardeners, Elliot Coleman has fresh green vegetables from his garden all winter, in Maine. This is...
Ven 3572 frisee web

Frisee Endive, organic

A heirloom triple-cut curly endive from France. This is the feathery, finely-branched pale leaf you see in salad mix in winter. Grows like lettuce but more s...
  • Seeds per packet: 180
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Germination days: 2-15
Vco 3240 dsc 0327 web

Georgia Collards

Old Southern heirloom from 1880 with crumpled, very tender leaves. We have received many comments from customers who really appreciate the flavor of this par...
  • Days to maturity: 60-80
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Vsp 5300 spinach giant winter done web

Giant Winter Spinach

We have found a re-selected and improved strain of this classic winter spinach. The most cold hardy variety with large arrowhead leaves, slightly savoyed or ...
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Germination days: 6-21
  • When to plant: Mild winter
Vtu 5925 gilfeatherturnip2

Gilfeather Turnip, Organic

An heirloom that has become a New England classic, with a festival in its honor in Wardsboro, VT. (All the dishes served at the festival contain this, Wardsb...
  • Germination days: 4-8
  • Days to maturity: 85
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Vmu 4455greenwave

Green Wave Mustard Greens, Organic

Big, easy to grow, flavorful curly mustard. Large, bright-green leaves with frilled edges are hot when raw, with rich, deep almost smoky.flavor cooked. Class...
  • Days to maturity: 35-60
  • Germination days: 9-12
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Vle 4272 lettuce hungarian web

Hungarian Pink Winter Butterhead Lettuce

This old European heirloom is one of the most beautiful vegetables we've seen. Round green heads, larger and firmer than most butterheads, brushed with pink....
  • Spacing: 9-12
  • When to plant: Winter
  • Days to maturity: 60
Vru 5212

Joan Rutabaga, organic

People are rediscovering the rutabaga Partly because it's related to kale and shares many of the same health benefits, and partly because of the flavor and v...
  • Germination days: 4-8
  • Planting depth: 3/8
  • Days to maturity: 95
Vka 3910 jamie+pics+october+2010+192

Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale, Organic

Italian heirloom-a best-seller with great looks and flavor. Delicious dark blue-green leaves, heavily savoyed (like dinosaur skin). Milder and more tender th...
  • Seeds per packet: 85
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Vco 3390 csalad cc+leo+michels

Mache, Corn Salad, Rapunzel

The most cold-hardy green of all, down to 0 degrees. Small dark-green leaves with very mild, almost flowery flavor and delicate texture. Very high vitamin C-...
  • Days to maturity: 45-60
  • Germination days: 7-21
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Cabbage+chinese+with+hand

Matsushima Chinese Cabbage

Easy-to-grow barrel-head type for late summer and fall planting. Mild flavor, crunchy texture, like an "iceberg" cabbage. Likes decreasing temperatures and d...
  • Days to maturity: 70-80
  • Germination days: 6-12
  • Spacing: 10
Onion+mill+creek+onion

Mill Creek Red Onion

A local heirloom we have saved from extinction bolt-resistant and very long-keeping. In recent trials it was the only red onion to do equally well planted ei...
  • Days to maturity: 115
  • When to plant: Late spring
  • Germination days: 10-14
Miners+letttuce

Miners Lettuce (Claytonia)

 Extremely hardy for winter salads tender juicy leaves with mild buttery flavor. Wild American native is easy to grow and tolerates shade.Super-nutritious. A...
  • Days to maturity: 40
  • Spacing: Broadcast
  • Seeds per packet: 200
02016.01minutina.cat

Minutina, (Erba Stella, Staghorn)

Crunchy, succulent leaves Ultra cold-hardy for winter saladsMinutina, like miner's lettuce, corn salad, and mizuna, stands all winter, even in Maine, in an u...
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Seeds per packet: 500
  • Spacing: 8
Vgr 3670 mizuna web

Mizuna Asian Greens

Mild, feathery green is a major part of almost all salad mixes. Vigorous plants grow quickly to 12-24" and 2-4 pounds. Or cut when 3-4" for salad mix (28 day...
  • Days to maturity: 40-65
  • Spacing: 10
  • Seeds per packet: 80
Spinach+monster

Monstrueux de Viroflay (Monster of Viroflay) Spinach

French Heirloom from the 19th century, still unequalled for complex, acid-free flavor. Plants up to 2' in diameter. One of the largest, most vigorous varieti...
  • Days to maturity: 40-70
  • Germination days: 6-21
  • When to plant: Mild winter
Pea+oregon+giant

Oregon Giant (edible pod) Snowpea, organic

Truly huge pods have  outstanding flavor, and keep their sweetness and tenderness longer than any pea we know. Sweet flavor raw or cooked. The peas inside th...
  • Seeds per packet: 250
  • Planting depth: 1/2-1
  • Spacing: 3
Vfe 3580 fennel perfection web

Perfection Fennel, Organic

Grown for the "bulb", the thick juicy base of the stems, like celery. Chop into salads or cook; mild anise flavor decreases with cooking. Delicious braised, ...
  • Days to maturity: 80
  • Seeds per packet: 80
  • Germination days: 2-15
Chard+perpetual+spinach

Perpetual Spinach Chard

Smooth green leaves, small stems-can be hard to tell from true spinach in looks or taste. Frost and bolt resistant, needs water after a dry spell. Popular in...
  • Seeds per packet: 80
  • Spacing: 8
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
Vca 2750 cabbage primo2 web

Primo Cabbage

An old favorite. Very early, and fast growing with sweet flavor. Compact, ball-headed Golden Acre type. These heirloom cabbages are becoming hard to find as ...
  • Days to maturity: 52-65
  • Germination days: 6-12
  • Seeds per packet: 85
Vtu 5945 mysuburbanhomestead

Purple Top White Globe Turnip, Organic

This is a very popular turnip because of its handsome shape, fine quality and attractive appearance. Produces uniform roots, each one as smooth and round as ...
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Seeds per packet: 160
  • Germination days: 5-10
Vbr 2586 quarantina

Quarantina Broccoli

Bouquets of  little broccolini with great fresh flavor in a hurry. The fastest-growing spring broccoli raab; its name means forty days.Italian seed; we have ...
  • When to plant: Early fall
  • Days to maturity: 40-50
  • Germination days: 7-14
Vca 2760 rdrumhead

Red Drumhead Cabbage

A very special heirloom red cabbage, hard to find in the US, with excellent flavor and a good keeper. Deep purple color is not lost in cooking or pickling. S...
  • Days to maturity: 74-95
  • Germination days: 6-12
  • Seeds per packet: 85
Vbr 2550 romanesco web

Romanesco Broccoli, Heading

Crunchy, with nutty, mild flavor. spiraling apple-green heads up to 6" wide. Stocky plants make a single big head. Does well in the North. This is more like ...
  • Days to maturity: 75-100
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • Spacing: 15
Vbr 2639

Roodnerf Brussels Sprouts

Hard-to-find variety known for its high quality. Brussels Sprouts can be tricky but Roodnerf is highly-rated for easy cultivation and excellent heading. Very...
  • Seeds per packet: 75
  • Days to maturity: 120
  • Germination days: 5-17
Vca 2970 st valery web

Saint Valery Carrot

 A legendary carrot, French heirloom from 1885. Very smooth, uniform root with bright red-orange skin. Large: 10-12" with 2-3" shoulder. Flesh is fine-graine...
  • Seeds per packet: 800
  • Days to maturity: 80
  • Germination days: 6-21
Vka 3931

Scarlet Kale

An unusual type of kale. We don't know of any other heirloom curly kale that is red. Color develops with frost. Very curly, very red. More tender than the hy...
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Germination days: 3-7
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Vca 2980 shin+kuroda

Shin Kuroda Carrot

Very early, short wide 6" carrot extra easy to grow, with the sweetness that has made Japanese carrot breeders famous. Good for spring or summer crops, all k...
  • Days to maturity: 68
  • Seeds per packet: 800
  • Germination days: 6-21
Vbe 2483 beet shiraz web

Shiraz Beet, Organic

A fast-growing, vigorous table beet with big tops, and a smooth round red-purple root. Incredibly easy to grow, and dependable.Selected for resistance to Riz...
  • Days to maturity: 58
  • Seeds per packet: 160
  • Spacing: 4
Cauliflower+snowball

Snowball Cauliflower, Organic

6-7" solid pure white heads protected by outer leaves. Sure header, long harvest. BOTANICAL NAME: Brassica oleracea GROWING INSTRUCTIONS: Sow in spring for...
  • Seeds per packet: 90
  • Germination days: 5-20
  • Days to maturity: 70
Broccoli+solstice

Solstice Broccoli, Organic

Ready very early and produces for a long time. Heads are on long stems above the foliage-easy to see and harvest and safer from slugs and snails. Small org...
  • Days to maturity: 45-84
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • When to plant: Late summer
Mas 6210 asian mix daphne

Spicy Mix

Baby greens for light cooking or those who like a more zesty salad. BOTANICAL NAME: Brassica rapaGROWING INSTRUCTIONS:Plant on 6" centers, or sow broadcast f...
  • Days to maturity: 40-60
  • Germination days: 9-12
  • Seeds per packet: 400
Chicory+sugar+loaf

Sugarloaf Chicory

Like a giant romaine, except more glossy, with an indescribable sweet/bitter flavor. Chicory is a dependable salad and cooking green where there is frost-sta...
  • When to plant: 1/8
  • Days to maturity: 52-83
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Arugula sylvetta

Sylvetta Perennial Arugula

Same flavor as annual arugula with deeply-cut leaves to 6". Overwinters to zone 6. Compared to annual arugula, it makes a thick bed of  smaller, spicy leaves...
  • Days to maturity: 37-50
  • Germination days: 5-10
  • Planting depth: 1/8
Green+tatsoi

Tatsoi Asian Greens, Organic

Used in almost all salad mixes, as the mild little center leaves are out where you can get at them, rather than hidden inside the bunch. Flat, deep green ros...
  • Days to maturity: 45
  • Spacing: 10
  • Seeds per packet: 80
Vpa 4791 lg homeschooler

Tender and True Parsnip

Fine-flavored old English variety that has become unavailable in recent years. Truly delicious roasted or braised, with a very sweet rich flavor and tender t...
  • Germination days: 15-28
  • Seeds per packet: 180
  • Days to maturity: 100
Vka 3928thousanh

Thousand Headed Kale

An ancient heirloom kale meant to fill the "hungry gap" in spring before the first newly-planted spring crops. This kale has many growing points instead of j...
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Seeds per packet: 50
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Tree+collards%21+just+like+collard+greens%2c+but+on+small+trees+and+sweet%21+these+are+my+new+favorite+veggie

Tree Collard cuttings

Perennial Greens on a tall stalk sweeter and more tender than regular collards.This delicious perennial vegetable (in zones 7-10) is an important permacultur...
Vka 3935vateskale

Vates Blue Curled Kale

 An heirloom curly-leaf type, providing dependable winter greens in Ireland and Scotland for generations. Gray-blue leaves with intensely curled edges shed w...
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Germination days: 3-7
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Cauliflower+violetta+duller

Violetta Cauliflower

Beautiful purple cauliflower heads with great flavor from Italy. Can be planted in spring for summer crop, or in a cold frame in fall. BOTANICAL NAME: Brass...
  • Germination days: 5-20
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Seeds per packet: 25
Wallawallasweetonions

Walla Walla Onion, Organic

Big, juicy, sweet onion from Washington that can grow to 3 lbs. In Walla Walla, WA, they're planted in August and overwintered. Spring-planted bulbs will be ...
  • Days to maturity: 125-300
  • Seeds per packet: 150
  • Germination days: 10-14
Kale+white+russ

White Russian Kale

The most winter-hardy kale we offer, to zone 4.And the most resistant to flooding and soggy soils. Has won many taste tests in spite of its tough constitutio...
  • Spacing: 12"
  • Planting depth: 1/4"
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
Lettuce+winter+density

Winter Density Romaine (Cos) Lettuce

Sweet-flavored lettuce with large, heavy, dark-green heads 9-10" high. Much used for autumn sowing. Slow to bolt. A Romaine with dense crunchy hearts like an...
  • When to plant: Winter
  • Spacing: 10-12
  • Days to maturity: 60
Lettuce   sunset+duller

Starting Lettuce in Hot Weather

1) Choose bolt-resistant varieties. To simplify that, we have a Summer Salad Collection and a Bolt-Resistant Mix 2)Put the seed in a dry, closed jar in the refrigerator for a few days. Most lettuce varieties do not like to sprout if  the seeds hav...
Frosty+cardoon

Winter Garden: How

Winter survival depends on more than just cold: excess dryness, alternating high and low temperatures, and saturated soil will all kill plants that might have survived the cold. Here is a simple checklist for winter survival:Choose the right varie...
Red+cabbage

Winter Garden: Where and When

Siting the Winter Garden It is important to site your winter garden in a place best for the plants, but even more important that it be where you will remember to use it. Try to find a good place close to the door so you can check your pla...