Cold weather crops are not only for spring planting. There are many cold winter crops that can be grown in colder climates. These include potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, onions and others. They all have different characteristics and advantages depending on their climate. For example, some varieties of pea plants grow well in the Arctic regions while other types do better in tropical areas. Some varieties of beans like kidney bean, black eyed bean and lima bean are best suited for temperate zones whereas others such as navy bean or chickpeas are better adapted to hot climates.
The following list contains some of the most common cold weather crops that can be planted in your garden during the spring season.
Potatoes – Potatoes grow best when they get at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C) below zero Fahrenheit (-18 C). Potato plants need a cool place to germinate.
So if you live in a city where it gets very hot, then potatoes will probably not thrive there. If you live in the country where the temperature is cooler than that, then potato plants may flourish there too.
Beans – Beans are another crop that thrives in cold climates. They require temperatures between 40 F (4 C) and 60 F (16 C).
Beans are members of the legume family. Peas and lentils are also in this family. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which means they help other plants grow better. Some common bean varieties are white beans, kidney beans, navy beans and cranberry beans.
Carrots – Carrots can be grown just about anywhere as long as the soil isn’t too wet. Most carrot varieties prefer sandy loam soils but many thrive in clay or rocky soils.
One thing you should know is that carrots grown in cooler temperatures taste better than those grown in warmer ones.
Peas – Peas are very hardy and easy to grow. They don’t require a lot of attention and can be grown practically anywhere.
Some varieties such as sugar snap peas do better in warmer conditions, while others such as garden peas and snow peas flourish in cooler temperatures.
Green Onions – Green onions are very similar to garlic and onions. They grow well in cool temperatures and can be grown just about anywhere.
Turnips – Turnips are another cool weather crop. They like temperatures between 40 F (4 C) and 65 F (18 C).
Most turnip varieties do well in most types of soil, but they don’t like to have wet feet.
Lettuce – Lettuce is a pretty hardy plant and grows well in most parts of the world.
Sources & references used in this article:
Crop planting dates: an analysis of global patterns by WJ Sacks, D Deryng, JA Foley… – Global ecology and …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Winter cover crops for local ecosystems: linking plant traits and ecosystem function by BJ Wilke, SS Snapp – Journal of the Science of Food and …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Crop environment, plant growth and physiology by D Bartholomew, R Paul… – The pineapple: botany …, 2003 – books.google.com
Oilseed crops for semiarid cropping systems in the northern Great Plains by AM Johnston, DL Tanaka, PR Miller… – Agronomy …, 2002 – Wiley Online Library
Stubble height effects on seasonal microclimate, water balance, and plant development of no-till winter wheat by JK Aase, FH Siddoway – Agricultural meteorology, 1980 – Elsevier