There aren’t very many vegetables to plant in December, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Whether you attempt to overwinter some of your crops from fall or you begin your planting from seed during this frigid time of year, December still has a lot to offer the average garden. This is especially true if you live in a warmer region that doesn’t experience too much frost or freezing temperatures.
Some of the best vegetables to plant in December include kale, microgreens, radishes, and asparagus. You may also get away with planting scallions or green onions outdoors, and an indoor herb garden will always thrive no matter the outside temperatures! With protection from a greenhouse or a hoop house, you may be able to overwinter more vegetables than you expect.
In this article, we will go over 6 of the most reliable vegetables to plant during the month of December, including the most reliable herbs for an indoor herb garden. Plus, we’ll even give you some tips as to how to best protect your winter garden from unexpected freezing temperatures and storms. Let’s get started!
The Best Vegetables to Plant in December
Depending on your region, most of these vegetables can be grown during the month of December without protection. However, be sure to check on your local Hardiness Zone and what your average temperatures are so that you don’t plant anything that can’t handle winter weather!
Spicy and cheerful, radishes thrive in cold temperatures and are fast to germinate. Some radish varieties are fully grown within a month, giving you quick crops to grow in December, likely before the worst of winter hits. Plus, you can germinate multiple batches of radishes at a time as they don’t take up very much space in the garden. You can even harvest their greens as they grow, giving you a delicious salad before the roots are ready!
Microgreens and Sprouts
Speaking of harvesting greens, there are multiple types of microgreens and sprouts that grow well in December. You can choose to grow your sprouts on a sunny windowsill indoors or outdoors in small, protected containers, depending on your region. Some of the best microgreens to consider growing during December include peas, arugula, bean sprouts, mustard greens, and alfalfa.
The best way to grow kale is in plenty of cold temperatures, which December should have! There are multiple varieties of kale to consider, but make sure you choose an option that is cold-hardy based on the average temperatures of your region. Some kale varieties are capable of overwintering in Zone 2, so keep an eye out for these if you live in a northern region and want a winter garden.
While asparagus takes roughly two to three years before it produces spears that you can eat, you should always plant your asparagus during the month of December. Similarly to kale, asparagus needs cold temperatures in order to germinate properly. Just know that any asparagus plant is a long-term investment, and you likely won’t be able to harvest from it during the first and second growing years.
Also known as green onions or spring onions, scallions can be sown during the month of December. This will ensure that you have a steady supply of delicious onion garnishes throughout spring and summertime, so long as you choose a variety that is cold-tolerant. You can also continually plant scallions as you use them or simply leave the root bulb in the earth, giving you plenty of crops month after month.
An Indoor Herb Garden is Always in Season!
If you worry that your region is too frigid to grow vegetables outdoors, you can always have an indoor herb garden on your windowsill or another sunny location in your home. Many kitchens are brightened and cheered by the presence of an indoor herb garden. You should have no trouble harvesting from these plants no matter the time of year!
Some popular herbs to try growing indoors include:
Consider Protecting Your Crops
Unless you live in Hardiness Zones 9 through 11, you have likely considered protecting your outdoor crops. There are very few vegetables capable of growing in frigid temperatures, but even a bit of protection can help them thrive. Building a temporary greenhouse or hoop house with plastic or other materials can help insulate your crops, and this may allow them to overwinter, giving you the same delicious vegetables come spring!