Each January and February, through our frigid Chicago winters, my only real plan is to sit by the space heater. Until recently, when I saw a photograph of a snow-covered cold frame filled with healthy green vegetables inside. I figured they must be in a more temperate zone and went on with business until I started waking up from dreams of harvesting carrots in the snow (this is true). So I began to research winter vegetables to find out just how cold tolerant they are. With a little planning, it might be possible to grow cold-hardy vegetables in our frigid zone 5 climate.

Heres what my research found. If we pay attention to overnight temperatures, grow the right plants, and monitor temperatures in a cold frame, it seems doable… At least in March.

Winter Garden Vegetables Chart

Winter Garden Vegetables


Two more seed starting charts here

Keep your vegetables LONGER. Read about a double layer technique used by a professional winter grower.