While the weather outside is frightful, that doesn’t mean that the growing season is over. On the contrary, it means that there is a whole new variety of food and decorative plants that you can grow and enjoy. Many of these plants have very interesting looks or properties, which is why many people over the years have wanted to learn how to grow winter gardens. The answer will vary depending on the plant type, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the best possible results.
The first thing to do is planting everything close to a building, away from the wind. Generally this means using the south side of a building and trying to pick something with a bit of an overhang. This keeps the plants from being damaged by the wind and gives them more sun, keeping them from freezing and helping them grow faster. This may not be enough if you live in an area with constant snow and ice, but it is a start.
Another option is to container garden, growing your foods inside or on a porch, keeping them warmer. This is a good option if you live in an area where there is not much heat during the winter. Generally even a screened porch with boards or something similar to keep snow out should work for this kind of garden. Be sure to water only with lukewarm water, and to insulate around the bottom of the pots, ensuring that the roots will not freeze. Some people find that a small reptile heating mat turned on for an hour or so will keep plants from freezing.
You will need to make sure that you plant well before the first frost, ensuring that you will have time to harvest most plants. Once the ground has completely frozen, it will be hard for any new life to take root. Instead, you will need to work on planting seeds that will grow in the spring, keeping your garden going all year round.
Some vegetable will actually not ripen until after a light frost, giving you almost unlimited growing potential if you live in an area with extremely mild winters. Heavily mulching these vegetables, and any root vegetables, will allow for a much longer growing season. This makes it a good idea to plan out the vegetables you will grow based on the seasons so you have a good variety available at all times.
If you really want to get the best results, a mini greenhouse over the plants will keep them growing for much longer, and may prevent the ground around them from freezing as well. This is actually something you can make at home in a weekend as well.
Overall, learning how to grow winter gardens has a lot to do with the area you are in and the vegetables you want to grow. Do some research first and you will be able to grow everything you need throughout the year.