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Grow food year-round by following these winter gardening tips from backyard gardeners in your Growing Zone.
In June 2013, we sent a winter gardening survey to thousands of readers all over the United States and beyond, asking growers about their best strategies for growing food in winter.
We didn’t receive any responses from you determined growers in icy-cold Zones 1 and 2, or in steamy-hot Zone 13, so if you grow food in one of those areas, leave a comment on this page and let us know your winter gardening tips. For those of you with cool winters, check out Best Crops and Varieties for Winter Gardening to see which veggies may thrive best where you live.
As winter can and does start as early as the first killing frost in fall, I do not plant a winter garden. My winter garden consists of many containers in the basement under lights, and we eat well all winter!
I make an igloo-like cover over my 4-by-4-foot raised beds using PVC and heavy white garden cloth.

I have a portable quilted greenhouse from Gardeners Supply that has windows in case it gets too warm. I have been gardening for a long time but only just started experimenting with winter gardening, as I recently moved to Klamath Falls. I plant mainly in my high tunnel, but kale and arugula will do well out in the garden — but of course that depends how mild the winter is.
Regional seed catalogs like Territorial and Johnny’s have great information on winter gardening. My biggest tip is to get organized in advance, in the spring when you are all excited about gardening.
In some areas, this requires the protection of a low tunnel or greenhouse, but in warm climates, winter is the easiest and most abundant time of year in the garden. This page includes a large sampling of the responses we received, organized by Growing Zone.

You can click on your Zone in the list right below the map to be taken to the tips that came from readers in your Zone.
We only have June, July and August in which to grow a garden, and this year my last killing frost was in June. I make sure it has not frosted yet and I plant them in the areas of my garden that get the most sun in winter. So if the wild rocket drops seed in September, for example, and baby plants start coming up in early November, I just get seeds from the wild plants and plant directly into my garden.
A close eye on the garden to scope out pests is also critical, especially with organic pesticide techniques, as they work best when applied before an infestation becomes large.

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